corruption

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

One of the former owners of the Shark Bar has been indicted on one count of bribing a public official, as part of the corruption case involving former House speaker Gordon Fox, officials said Friday.

Old stories have a way of cycling back into the news in Rhode Island, and this otherwise quiet week was a case in point. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State and federal prosecutors say they continue to look at the corruption case involving former House speaker Gordon Fox.

Fox says he took $52,500 in bribes to approve a liquor license for a Thayer Street bar. No other individuals have been charged in connection with the case, but US Attorney Peter Neronha says the matter remains under review.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former House Speaker Gordon Fox, who made a trip from the hardscrabble streets of Mount Hope to the pinnacle of political power in Rhode Island, was sentenced Thursday to serve three years in prison after being convicted of bribery, wire fraud and tax evasion.

A contrite Fox intermittently choked up while apologizing to his friends, family and the people of Rhode Island during a sentencing hearing conducted by US District Court Judge Mary Lisi.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Common Cause of Rhode Island executive director John Marion joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the fight for reform after guilty pleas last week by former House speaker Gordon Fox; Governor Gina Raimondo's first budget; and Ken Block's study on the cost of fire services in RI.

Talk about a full Rhode Island. Gordon Fox pleads guilty, Gerry Martineau wants his legislative pension, the state Supreme Court green-lights an April start for the pension trial, and Governor Gina Raimondo is set to unveil her first budget on Thursday. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Aaron Read / RIPR

The non-partisan good government group Common Cause isn’t satisfied with a reform measure backed by House leaders in the aftermath of Gordon Fox’s guilty plea earlier this year.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says it makes sense for officeholders to file their bank statements for their campaign accounts with the state agency that monitors campaign spending.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss Gordon Fox's guilty plea on corruption charges; who wasn't charged; how the state might do better in fighting corruption; and the recent spat between Governor Gina Raimondo and House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

John Bender

Reactions have been swift to news that Former House Speaker Gordon Fox pleaded guilty to three felony charges.

The charges include one count of bribery and one count of misusing campaign funds.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison reports on reaction from both sides of the aisle.

Calling it a "sad chapter" in Rhode Island Politics, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said in a brief statement, "there is no place for public corruption."

A Democrat, Mattiello took over after Fox resigned as speaker, following raids on his home and Statehouse office.

John Bender / RIPR

Almost one year after a state-federal raid that sparked the sudden end of his political career, former House Speaker Gordon Fox is facing a three-year prison sentence as the result of an investigation charging him with bribery, wire fraud, and filing a false tax return.

Cold enough for ya? We thought so. Give it time, and we'll be complaining about something else. Thanks for stopping by in the interim. As always, feel free to share your tips, thoughts, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

It’s been five years since North Providence Town Councilman Paul Caranci put on a wire and recorded his fellow council members accepting bribes. He gave the recordings to the FBI and helped convict three councilmen and a town solicitor on charges of public corruption. On Wednesday, Caranci receives an award in Washington, DC, from the National Association of Secretaries of State, recognizing an act of political bravery.

Just 11 days until Election Day and the news is flowing fast and furious. Thanks for stopping by and, as always, feel free to follow me on the twitters or to drop a tip or comment at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Federal and state investigations made a high-profile raid of House Speaker Gordon Fox’s Statehouse office and East Side home late last month. Fox resigned the next day and a new speaker took the helm of the Rhode Island House of Representatives. But investigators have not said what sparked the probe, and little fresh information has emerged in the almost 4 weeks since the raid. Robert Clark Corrente served as Rhode Island’s top federal prosecutor from 2004 and 2009 and he’s now a partner with the Providence law firm of Burns & Levinson.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The stench of corruption has once again encircled the Rhode Island Statehouse. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay says it may be time to try something different on Smith Hill.

Unless you have been living in one of those 1950s-era nuclear bomb shelters, or the old East Side tunnel, you’ve probably heard of the latest Statehouse scandal. The state police and federal IRS and FBI agents raided the offices of House Speaker Gordon Fox 10 days ago. The next day he abruptly resigned.

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