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Committee To Open Impeachment Investigation

Gov. John Rowland issued a quick response to House Speaker Moira Lyons' decision to form a committee that will investigate whether he should be impeached.
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House Speaker Moira Lyons will form a committee to investigate whether Gov. John Rowland should be impeached.

NBC 30 Connecticut News chief political correspondent Tom Monahan reported Tuesday afternoon that a committee organized by Lyons will investigate whether the governor committed acts that warrant impeachment. Earlier Tuesday, Lyons announced plans to meet privately Wednesday with Rowland to discuss whether she will open impeachment hearings.

The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m., but Rowland issued a quick response Tuesday afternoon to Lyons' decision.

"I endorse the decision to move forward with the committee process," Rowland said in a statement. "I welcome a process that is deliberate, objective and fair. Connecticut is the Constitution State. I am pleased the Speaker recognizes the constitutional rights of all citizens."

If House members vote in favor of impeachment, a two-thirds majority in the Senate is required to remove a governor from office.

The governor, a Republican, is under fire for accepting gifts and then lying about them. He said he believes some sort of legislative investigation will take place.

It is up to Lyons, a Democrat, to decide whether to call for an impeachment investigation.

She has said it is the most difficult decision of her life.

Last month, Rowland told reporters he paid for upgrades to his summer cottage himself, but later admitted that much of the work was paid for, or donated by, friends and a politically connected state contractor. Federal authorities also are investigating Rowland in a corruption probe that has resulted in a guilty plea by a former top aide to the governor for accepting bribes from an unnamed contractor for cash and gold.

The governor maintains that he never provided favors in return for the gifts, and he has not been charged with any crime.

For the latest news and updates on this story, stay tuned to NBC 30 Connecticut News and

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