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Ethics Complaint Costs Conn. Gov. $9K

June 13, 2003

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Gov. John G. Rowland has agreed to pay nearly $9,000 to settle an ethics complaint that he took discounted vacations at homes owned by two people who did business with the state.

Under a deal announced Friday by the state Ethics Commission, Rowland will pay a $2,000 civil penalty plus $6,972 _ the difference between what he paid for the vacation rentals and the fair market value.

It was the second time that Rowland was fined by the Ethics Commission. In 1997, he paid a $2,000 penalty for accepting undervalued concert tickets.

Rowland said he realizes in hindsight that he should not have stayed at homes owned by anyone who has contracts with the state.

``It was bad judgment at best,″ he said.

One vacation involved the home of a wealthy friend of Rowland’s who had business dealings with the Connecticut Development Authority. The others involved homes connected to a construction company that has been subpoenaed in a federal corruption investigation of Rowland’s administration.

In March, Rowland’s former deputy chief of staff pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in return for steering state contracts, including public works contracts, to certain developers.

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