HARTFORD, Conn. – Gov. John G. Rowland (search) on Tuesday denounced the actions of a legislative committee that could recommend his impeachment, and responded angrily to questions about whether he has withheld information from investigators.
Rowland said the House Select Committee of Inquiry has held secret meetings and leaked information to reporters. He maintained he's cooperated with the panel by providing it with more than 60,000 pages of documents.
Rowland faces both state ethics and criminal investigations after admitting last year that he accepted gifts from state contractors and employees. The Republican governor has said he did nothing in return for the gifts.
The committee's special counsel asked Rowland's attorneys on Monday why thank-you notes and a letter to a state contractor were not among the documents turned over by the governor.
Committee counsel Steven Reich (search) has demanded additional information about any gifts from contractor Kurt Claywell, amid reports he gave the governor thousands of dollars worth of champagne and Cuban cigars.
Claywell is cooperating with the committee.
The governor's attorney, Ross Garber, said Rowland's office is supplying documents virtually every other day to the committee in response to a far-reaching subpoena, which he said the governor "takes very seriously."
Rowland said Tuesday he forgot about receiving the champagne and cigars.
He was asked by reporters if there are other gifts he's forgotten.
"Listen, you guys want to set the trap," Rowland said. "We're doing the best we can. We submitted all the information that's been requested by the feds, all the information that's been requested by the board.
"You can do this whole process in the press or you can allow some due process within the panel of inquiry, where people can actually answer charges and go back and forth," Rowland said.