Convicted former Gov. John G. Rowland would re-enter public service under a newly created Waterbury economic development coordinator position proposed Monday by Mayor Michael Jarjura.Let see...
Jarjura, a Democrat, confirmed to The Courant Tuesday night that he has made "an executive decision" to offer Rowland a job that would be created under a proposed agreement between the city and the Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Calling the proposal "my idea," Jarjura said that Rowland, a Republican now living in Middlebury, was the only candidate he interviewed, and that he hopes details can be settled so the former governor can start work within "a couple of weeks."
• Rip the taxpayer of Connecticut off,
• Put the state through a political nightmare that results in resigning in disgrace,
• Go to jail and,
• Come out and get thrown a high paying job from your hometown buddy.
I thought no one could beat Mayor Boughton's hiring practices but Jar-Jar proved me wrong.
...only in Waterbury.
Update: Here's more on this boneheaded idea from the mayor of one of the most corrupt cities in Connecticut.
But wait, there's more...
If former Gov. John G. Rowland's appointment as Waterbury development czar goes through — and there was no sign Wednesday that it wouldn't — he again could find himself at the center of the kind of big-money deals that proved to be his undoing in office.For those who are not keeping score, here's the background on why John Rowland is the most disgraceful politician in Connecticut (and should STILL be in JAIL).
The Waterbury business and political interests behind the Rowland appointment say the convicted ex-governor is thoroughly reformed and particularly suited for the position. But others outside the city say that even the offer of the job is a public insult. What's more, they say, it would be a mistake to reinsert Rowland into a mix of money and influence that proved in the past to be an irresistible temptation.
"This is a disgrace," said Farmington Town Council Chairman Michael Clark, a Republican and the former FBI agent who supervised the investigation that led to Rowland's imprisonment in 2005. "It is like kicking sand in the eyes of every hardworking taxpayer in Waterbury. He violated the supreme trust — the trust between an elected officeholder and the voters.
"John Rowland says he has had a spiritual rebirth," Clark said. "Well, the spiritual rebirth I want to see is when he puts his hand on a Bible and promises to tell the whole truth to a grand jury, honestly and completely, which he has never done."
The proposed position, conceived by Mayor Michael Jarjura and financed through city and private business money, would make Rowland Waterbury's chief pitchman — selling the city to developers and businesses that, ideally, would construct buildings, create jobs and inflate a moribund tax base.
That, critics said, could make Rowland the nexus between developers willing to take a chance on risky urban development and the alphabet soup of state and local agencies and quasi-public financing boards that can provide millions in tax breaks, loans and outright grants to offset the risk.
It was just such a meeting of politics and business that proved legally toxic to Rowland. He resigned as governor in June 2004 and was sentenced to a year and a day in prison in 2005 after pleading guilty to conspiring to collect $107,000 in gifts and services from businessmen who got hundreds of millions in contracts and tax breaks from his administration.
I think Speaker of the House of Representatives James Amann hit the nail on the head on what's really going on here...
Rowland's new job would be "very much involved in politics and economic development — and isn't that the reason why the governor got into his problems in the first place?" House Speaker James Amann, D-Milford, said.
Amann said Rowland, a Republican, backed Jarjura in 2001, when Jarjura narrowly won the Waterbury Democratic mayoral primary. "He's loyal, and he remembers," Amann said of Jarjura. "I am not knocking him for trying to help out an old favorite son of Waterbury — but I just don't know why it had to be this particular job."
Well, if anyone knows a thing or two about "political loyalty," it would be Amann (cue Lieberman).