Rowland Investigation Panel Issues Subpoenas

A legislative committee investigating the conduct of Gov. John G. Rowland (search) issued its first subpoenas Thursday, and said dozens more were forthcoming.

Four subpoenas were issued to the governor, his wife, the governor's office and the state Ethics Commission (search), said state Rep. John Wayne Fox, co-chair of the committee. An additional 40 to 50 were expected, although names of those being subpoenaed were not immediately released.

The committee, formed by the state House of Representatives, is charged with recommending whether Rowland should face impeachment proceedings.

The first batch of subpoenas seeks documents, with testimony sought later. "It's a very broad request," said Fox.

Ross Garber, counsel for the governor's office, said he has not received the subpoena yet.

Fox said the subpoenas seek records dating back to 1995, including checkbooks, receipts, bills, tax returns and expenses the governor has incurred for his summer cottage.

The committee also seeks information on the purchase of property and gifts, he said.

The state House voted last month to establish the inquiry committee after the governor admitted lying about accepting gifts for the cottage from friends, politically appointed employees and a state contractor.

Rowland, also the subject of a federal corruption investigation (search), has apologized and said he never provided anything in return to the gift-givers. The Rowlands have already received federal subpoenas for personal financial information.

Garber said the governor's office has been voluntarily turning over documents for subpoenas in the federal investigation.

The committee has a flexible mid-April deadline to recommend to the full House whether Rowland should be impeached. If the House votes to impeach, the Senate would hold a trial. Removing Rowland from office would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate.