Ex-Speaker Gordon Fox pleads guilty to bribery, wire fraud

By News Staff

news@abc6.com

The former Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives Gordon Fox will be sentenced June 11 after pleading guilty to charges of bribery, wire fraud and filing a false tax return.

The court documents were revealed Tuesday and a press conference was called to discuss ‘the conclusion of a significant political corruption investigation.’

U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha’s Office announced the details along with Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, Vincent B. Lisi, and officials from the FBI and RI State Police.

Fox is accused of receiving $52,000 as a bribe to help grant a liquor license to Shark Sushi Bar and Grill on Thayer Street while he was serving as an appointed member and Vice-Chairman of the City Providence Board of Licenses. 

He is also accused of making 27 interbank transfers totaling $108,000 with funds from his campaign account to pay for personal expenses such as his mortgage, car loan payments, and American Express payments for purchases at stores such as Tiffany’s, Target, T.J. Maxx and Urban Outfitters. 

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said, “Public corruption at any level of government will not be tolerated. I am particularly disappointed that an important City board was used as an avenue for such corruption. I applaud the work of the U.S. Attorney, the Attorney General, and other law enforcement entities in prosecuting this case and bringing it to justice. My administration is investigating whether the license can be legally revoked.”

Speaker Nicholas Mattiello commented, “There is no place for public corruption and I am extremely disappointed to learn about the charges against former Speaker Fox.  The matter will be handled appropriately in the courts and the interest of the public and justice will ultimately be served.  While this closes a very sad chapter, the House will continue to move forward and focus on the needs of the state.”

Fox pled guilty on Tuesday to the three charges. If the plea deal is accepted by the judge in June, Fox will serve three years in federal prison. 

Fox resigned his position as Speaker following a raid by State Police at his home and statehouse office on March 21 of last year.

He did serve the remainder of his term and did not run for re-election.

© WLNE-TV 2015