Former Gov. John G. Rowland will return to the limelight later this week in a new capacity –  as a fill-in talk show host on WTIC 1080-AM radio in Farmington.

Rowland, who resigned six years ago amid an impeachment inquiry and later served 10 months in federal prison on corruption charges, will serve as a replacement for vacationing talk show host Jim Vicevich.

Steven Salhany, WTIC’s operations manager, confirmed this afternoon that Rowland would cover Vicevich’s 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. time slot on Friday, and then again on July 6 and 7.

“We had some discussions when Jim wasn’t here” in April, Salhany said, referring to a period when Vicevich temporary left the show after his contract had expired and before a new deal was struck. Those talks with Rowland didn’t lead to an immediate deal and Vicevich returned after a few weeks off the air, but Salhany said the radio station and the ex-governor remained in contact.

“Obviously it’s an incredibly intense political season” Salhany said, referring to several high-profile primary contests being waged in Connecticut, including Democratic and Republican contests for the gubernatorial nomination, and a GOP primary for U.S. senator.

“We will watch and see” how the three guest appearances proceed, Salhany said, adding it was too soon to say whether Rowland would be a regular fill-in host. He added that the former governor would be paid a stipend for his appearances, but declined to disclose the amount.

The former governor, who was elected in 1994, 1998 and 2002, served 10 months in prison between April 2005 and February 2006 after admitting in federal court he accepted about $100,000 in gifts from state contractors and from staff.

A frequent public speaker since his release from prison, Rowland also sparked controversy in 2008 when he accepted a post as an economic development advisor to his home community, the City of Waterbury.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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