Gordon Fox

John Bender / RIPR

The State Supreme Court has disbarred former house Speaker Gordon Fox. Fox recently pleaded guilty to several counts of public corruption.

Fox acknowledged that he would lose his license to practice law when he accepted a plea deal for the corruption charges.  In March he pleaded guilty to charges of misspent campaign funds, and accepting a bribe for 52-thousand dollars.

In addition to losing his license and house seat, state education officials rescinded his honorary degree from his Alma Mater Rhode Island College.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A legal maneuver has blocked, at least temporarily, the City of Providence’s attempt to wipe out business permits for the Shark Bar and Grille.

The city targeted the Thayer Street establishment because of bribes paid to former House Speaker Gordon Fox.

The Superior Court has appointed a receiver for the bar, following a request from the bar’s owners.

The move means the judge is in control of the bar for now, and the city License Board can’t go after the permits. 

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has filed a petition requesting that the city licensing board declare that all licenses held by the Shark Bar & Grille on Thayer Street near Brown University be declared void.

The mayor’s reasoning comes as no surprise because owners of the Shark paid a $52,000 in bribe in 2008 to former House Speaker Gordon Fox, who at the time was vice-chair of the Providence Board of Licenses. After the bribe was paid, the Shark obtained a liquor license despite opposition from East Side residents and Brown officials.

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.

RIPR FILE

Gov. Gina Raimondo is scheduled to release her first state budget on Thursday. Part of the challenge is to slash a projected $190 million deficit.  So what will get cut? RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay tells us what to watch out for.

There is that ancient Statehouse cliché: If you want to figure out what a governor’s priorities are, check out the budget. Rhode Islanders get their first look at what our new governor, Gina Raimondo, values when she releases her spending and taxing plan for state government on Thursday.

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.

RIPR FILE

Channel 12 reports the Providence Board of Licenses believes there’s not enough concrete evidence to revoke a liquor license for a bar that’s been implicated in a corruption probe. But Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said he’s still looking into the matter.

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

Former House Speaker Gordon Fox has admitted that he violated the law by converting campaign money to personal use and accepting a bribe to wire a liquor license for a Thayer Street bar that the neighbors weren’t  too keen on having near their homes.

But in Rhode Island political circles, the biggest rule he broke was the iron, if unofficial, Statehouse cliché: Don’t take a dime while you are serving in the General Assembly. Then cash in for as much as you can make later.

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.

There are some glimmers of positive economic news as Rhode Island races toward the New Year. So thanks for stopping for my weekly column. Feel free to share your tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

When Rhode Islanders head to polls next week, they will face an important issue that has not drawn much attention. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay looks at the Constitutional Convention question.

Our small state is holding a big election on Nov. 4. Statewide and federal offices are all being contested. Every General Assembly member confronts voters, who will also elect mayors in the Rhode Island’s two largest cities, Providence and Warwick.

The Farmers Market at Lippitt Park on Providence’s East Side is a bustling venue on Saturday mornings as people line up to choose from a cornucopia of fruits, vegetables, sweets, seafood and pasture-feed beef. It was also a beehive of political activity this morning as candidates milled among prospective voters. Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, who is running in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor was spotted, along with Buddy Cianci, who is trying to make a comeback for Providence mayor as an independent.

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