Rhode Island Speaker of the House, Gordon Fox, announced his resignation on Saturday following the raid of his home and office on Friday. Law enforcement officials were reportedly looking for evidence in a criminal investigation regarding an undisclosed issue.
Fox, 52, is Rhode Island's first openly gay Speaker of the House. A spokesperson for Fox said that he will no longer be carrying out official duties as a speaker. However, he will still serve as the state’s representative for the remainder of his term for House District 4 on the East Side of Providence.
There are no detailed reports of the allegations on Fox, but it is not the first time he has been involved in issues concerning ethical misconduct. At the start of the year, Fox paid a $1,500 fine for neglecting to report more than $40,000 that he earned while organizing loan documents for the economic development agency of Providence from 2007 until 2009.
Another report states that Fox was under inspection for his contribution to a deal that was made in 2010, wherein video game company 38 Studios was given a $75 million loan. The company then declared bankruptcy two years after. Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s failed investment left taxpayers with the burden of a $100 million bill.
Rhode Island State Police superintendent Steven O'Donnell did not say if the evidence collected had something to do with an investigation on Fox, or if it is an evidence for an investigation on another person.
After the announcement of Fox’s resignation, speculations on who will be taking his seat quickly rose. Nicholas Mattiello, D-Cranston, has already stated his interest in seeking to replace Fox with Rep. John De Simone, D-Providence, becoming his majority leader.
Mattiello said that he wishes Fox well, and that he is eager to move forward with Rhode Island.
Fox also said that he does not have any intention on running another term in the House.
RI House Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello comments on Gordon Fox
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