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Draft Report on Conn. Governor Released

June 28, 2004

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Gov. John G. Rowland knew that a businessman received an unfair advantage in winning a $57 million state contract, but did nothing to stop the deal, according to a draft report from the committee that considered his impeachment.

The 38-page report was released Monday by the House Select Committee of Inquiry _ exactly one week after Rowland announced his resignation amid a series of graft allegations.

The report does not reach any conclusions about whether Rowland committed crimes or impeachable offenses. The draft report was written by lawyers for the House Select Committee of Inquiry; the final report will be released later by the lawmakers themselves.

Rowland’s sudden resignation announcement put a halt to the committee’s hearings before his lawyers presented any defense and without the embattled governor ever testifying.

According to the report, Rowland knew that William Tomasso, a principal with a construction contractor, went to Ohio with the governor’s former co-chief-of staff, Peter Ellef, to tour a juvenile detention facility in 1998.

That facility was to be a model for a new juvenile facility that Connecticut officials planned to build. Tomasso was eventually awarded the contract.

Rowland’s scheduler, Christine Corey, told investigators that Rowland did not know that Ellef and Tomasso were traveling to Ohio for the tour. When he did find out, he was upset, she said.

But Rowland did not confront Ellef or Tomasso, according to the committee’s investigators.

Tomasso’s trip to Ohio with Ellef was previously disclosed, but the allegation that Rowland knew about it and failed to intervene in the contract was a new development.

Rowland has admitted accepting gifts from the Tomassos, including renovations on his summer cottage, but has said he provided nothing in return. Rowland also is subject of a federal investigation.

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