By Richard Weizel
NEW HAVEN Conn. (Reuters) - Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland violated U.S. election laws by taking under-the-table payments from a business owned by the husband of a candidate whose campaign he advised, a federal jury found on Friday.
Rowland, a Republican who resigned from office a decade ago after pleading guilty to corruption charges, was found guilty of seven criminal counts including two counts of falsifying records in a federal investigation, a charge that carries a possible 20-year prison sentence.
Prosecutors had charged Rowland, 57, with negotiating a ruse deal for a nursing home company owned by Brian Foley to pay him $35,000 that was intended to compensate him for advising the 2012 congressional campaign of Foley's wife, Lisa Wilson-Foley.
They said the two worked out the back-channel deal to try to avoid linking the candidate with Rowland, who served 10 months in prison after the earlier corruption plea.
Foley was the star witness during the two-week trial at U.S. District Court in New Haven, Connecticut, testifying that he had worked out the sham deal with Rowland.
The jury found Rowland guilty on its second day of deliberations.
(Reporting by Richard Weizel; Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Sandra Maler and Bill Trott)