Sep. 28, 2007 · Limited information from a 1992 lawsuit involving former Gov. John G. Rowland (R-Conn.) and his former wife may be unsealed and disclosed to the public, a Connecticut judge ruled this week.
Waterbury Superior Court Judge Salvatore Agati ruled that the docket sheet and any motions or orders to seal the case can be unsealed, chief clerk Philip Groth said in a statement on Thursday. But the records will not be unsealed until a 20-day appeals period expires, he said.
The case involving Rowland and his former wife, Deborah, was one of 18 sealed civil and family cases in the Waterbury district up for review during the hearing under a reform effort by the judiciary to eliminate secret court cases and unnecessarily sealed court documents.
Before July 2, 2003, hundred of cases like these were sealed under court rulings until a rule governing that practice was changed. Since then, information on many of those cases has been posted on the Judicial Branch’s Web site for public review.
These cases are known as “Level 2 cases” or just “sealed cases.” “Level 1 cases” or “super-sealed cases” have been known to be so secret that their existence at times could not be confirmed. These cases are in the process of being unsealed just like the “Level 2 cases.”
Rowland resigned in 2004 and served 10 months in prison after he admitted to trading access to his office for more than $100,000 in vacations, charter airline trips to Las Vegas and home repairs.