The campaign of Lisa Wilson-Foley, a Republican running in the 5th congressional district, has released the contract between her husband’s healthcare firm and former Gov. John G. Rowland hours after a rival campaign filed an elections complaint against her.
Rowland, who resigned amid a corruption investigation in 2004, served 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to a felony and now hosts a radio show,has no formal role with Wilson-Foley’s congressional campaign, though he has been touting her candidacy.
But the contract states the former governor performed “consulting services” related to “marketing, strategic advice and business consulting for the company’s clients or managing members employment interests.” No further specifics were provided.
For this, Rowland was paid $5,000 a month for a six-month period beginning on Oct. 1 and ending just weeks ago, on March 31.
Mike Clark, one of five Republicans seeking the open 5th District seat, has filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against Wilson-Foley, asking the agency to investigate the role Rowland is playing with her campaign.
“There are no financial relationships, past or present, between Lisa Wilson Foley for Congress campaign, or companies owned by Lisa Wilson Foley,” the statement said.
The campaign said the former governor acted solely as “a volunteer” with the campaign, “someone who offers support and guidance.
“Governor Rowland has been a friend of Lisa and Brian Foley for two decades. His guidance and advice has and is being sought by many Republican candidates in Connecticut. As one of only a few Republicans who have won statewide office over the last 40 years, John Rowland has a wealth of experience that has been a welcome addition to the campaign and will continue to be involved,” the statement concluded.
Wilson-Foley and her husband, Brian, built Apple Rehab, a chain of 26 nursing and rehabilitation centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Brian Foley serves as the company’s CEO and President.
Foley said Rowland’s relationship with Apple’s ownership goes back two decades. Rowland’s duties included working with the company’s executive management team on several “short-term strategic initiatives,” Foley wrote in a statement distributed by the campaign.
“As a former executive leader, Mr. Rowland’s experience providing fundamental solutions to complex issues positioned him to consult on a myriad of issues relevant to the management of a large and diverse health care organization,” Foley wrote.
Part of Rowland’s duties included consulting on “labor relations issues specific to union and contract negotiations,” Foley wrote. “His responsibilities included visiting various healthcare facilities where he met with management and provided feedback on census and business development issues.”
Rowland met regularly with Apple’s chief operating officer and attended board of directors meetings. “To date,” Foley added, “Mr. Rowland’s role as a consultant for Apple Rehab has been fulfilled and and his duties concluded.”
Christopher Syrek, Wilson-Foley’s campaign manager, wrote a letter to Clark outlining the nature of Rowland’s consulting work for the firm. “There are no contracts or payments, past or present, between John G. Rowland, his family member and the Lisa Wilson Foley for Congress 2012 campaign,” Syrek said.
“There are no contracts or payments between John G. Rowland, his family members and the companies associated with Lisa Wilson Foley.”
The contract outlining Rowland’s consulting work was signed by the law offices of Christian B. Shelton of Branford.