It appears there is dissension in the already diminished team of House Speaker Gordon Fox, D_Providence. House Whip Patrick O’Neill, a Pawtucket Democrat who represents a district anchored by the Oak Hill neighborhood, has resigned his post.
“I wish Rep. O’Neill well and appreciate his contributions to our leadership team,’’ Fox said in a statement. “I spoke with the other leadership members and we are united and moving forward.’’
O’Neill told the Providence Journal that he had “philosophical” differences with Fox on the way the House is run. O’Neill also pointed to what he believes was a lack of information available to members before a vote was scheduled on the ill-fated 38 Studios- Curt Schilling video game that now has taxpayers on the hook for as much as $100 million.
O’Neill, a lawyer, has no general election opponent, but he survived a fairly close primary challenge from a lackluster opponent. His resignation leaves three vacancies on Fox’s leadership lineup. Deputy House Speaker John McCauley did not run for reelection. (He recently entered a guilty plea to federal tax evasion charges). And senior Deputy Majority Leader Peter Petrarca, D-Lincoln was defeated in his reelection bid in the September Democratic primary by Gregory Costantino.