Campaign Finance Angle Emerges In Gordon Fox Probe

Apr 16, 2014

A state police officer can be seen in former Speaker Gordon Fox's office during the raid on March 21
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The investigators who raided former House Speaker Gordon Fox's Statehouse office and East Side home on March 21 appear to be examining Fox's campaign fundraising.

The state Board of Elections, which monitors the collection and spending of campaign cash, says it was contacted March 21 by law enforcement with regard to Fox. In an email, Richard Thornton, the board's head of campaign finance, added, "However, the Board does not disclose the nature or substance of any communications with law enforcement officials concerning any ongoing investigation being conducted by either the Board or law enforcement agencies. Further, the Board does not divulge the extent to which it has either received a grand jury subpoena or participated in any grand jury proceedings in either federal or state court."

Fox's two-decade legislative career came to abrupt end when state police, the FBI, and IRS raided his home and Smith Hill office in late March. He resigned the next day, and Nicholas Mattiello won the subsequent fight to succeed Fox in the powerful post of speaker.

Investigators and Fox have not commented on the reason for the investigation.

WPRI-TV, Channel 12, reported Tuesday that investigators sought campaign finance records from Fox's assistant, Ruth Desmarais, at her East Providence home prior to the raid on the Statehouse. Jim Hummel of the Hummel Report also mentioned that development during last week's broadcast of RI-PBS' A Lively Experiment.

This post has been updated.