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poll: Should Gordon Fox Return to the House of Representatives?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

 

Should Gordon Fox Return to the House of Representatives?


Gordon Fox says he will return to the House of Representative and begin voting on legislation. Should he return? Should he resign?

According to a WJAR-10 News report, Fox says he is going to resume his active position as a legislator. Fox resigned his position as Speaker of the House just two days after his office was raided by IRS and FBI enforcement officers.

Is his motivation purely to use as leverage in a plea with federal prosecutors? 

After his office was raided - the first raid ever in the State House's history - should he resign?

 

Related Slideshow: Fox Scandal: Facts and Rumors

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RUMOR:

RUMOR:

FBI and IRS Agents Are Focused on Campaign Financing Reports

The State of Rhode Island has regulatory and enforcement authority over the use of campaign finance funds.

While the IRS could be looking at improper use of campaign funds - it is not the core focus of the federal investigation.

As state campaign documents state:

Any person who undertakes any action whether preliminary or final which is necessary under the law to qualify for nomination for or election to public office which would include receiving a contribution or making any expenditure or giving his/her consent for any other person to receive a contribution or make an expenditure to bring about his/her nomination or election to any public office even if such office is unknown at the time is subject to the RI campaign finance laws. 

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FACT:

FACT:

The relationship between attorney/lobbyist Michael Corso and Fox is longstanding and complex. 
 
From fundraisers, to business agreements to the first meeting on 38 Studios - Fox and Corso have been linked. 
 
Whether this case is tied to 38 Studios is pure conjecture.
 
 
As GoLocal reported in 2012, in March 2007, Michael Corso, Steven Nappa and Robert Britto of Nappa Building Corp. and former State Representative Ray Rickman were listed as the hosts of a private fundraiser held in the Peerless Lofts for the then-Majority Leader Fox. The event, which helped Fox rake in approximately $10,000, was catered by Tazza, the downtown café owned by Corso.
 
Earlier this year Corso's Tazza Cafe closed.
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RUMOR

RUMOR:

 
The Fox case is at the beginning of the investigation and federal authorities have just begun a broader investigation that may link to other elected officials, appointed officials and business leaders.
 
This is speculation. Internal Revenue Service agents raided the State House office of Gordon Fox and secured documents from the Rhode Island's Board of Election's Campaign Finance Division - this we know.  It is unclear where this investigation will lead.
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RUMOR

RUMOR:

 
Fox will be charged by the Federal government.
 
Fox's legal work relating to the Providence Economic Development Partnership may be core to the federal investigation, according to one local journalist. Jim Hummel, an investigative reporter, charged in a recent appearance on RI PBS's "A Lively Experiment" that Gordon Fox would be charged by federal authorities. 
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FACT

FACT:

 
Gordon Fox is selling his house
 
Former Speaker of the House Gordon Fox's East Side home is on the market -- for $615,000.
 
Fox purchased the house in 2005 for $500,000.
 
The listing with Executive Realty has that the five-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath, 2,600 foot property is a "stately 5 Bedroom Colonial. Recently updated, 2 Fireplaces, Formal Living and Dining, Hardwoods, Gourmet Kitchen, Bright and Sunny, Family Room, New Mechanicals."
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FACT

 

FACT:
 
Former Speaker Bill Murphy is now Fox's attorney.
 
Murphy, who preceded Fox as Speaker, is also close to newly elected Speaker Nick Mattiello. Presently, Murphy serves as a registered lobbyist and his clients include Twin River casino's parent company and a pay day lending firm.
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FACT

FACT:

 

 
Fox's husband, Marcus LaFond, rented from 38 Studios-connected lawyer Michael Corso - the same Corso tied to the 2007 fundraiser and set up the initial meeting between Fox and 38 Studios officials. 
 
LaFond's salon located in the Jewelry District closed earlier this year.
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RUMOR

 

RUMOR:
 
According to radio talk show host John DePetro, the raid of Fox's home and State House office were tied to federal authorities' search for marked currency given to Fox by a federal informant that is close to Fox.
 
The marked currency theory is unsubstantiated -- no named sources have been quoted.
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FACT

FACT

 
The federal raid on Fox's Speaker's office in the Rhode Island State House was unprecedented. As GoLocalProv first reported, "It was a dark day in Rhode Island's history as the State House was raided by federal and state law enforcement officials for the very first time…a contingent of dozens of State Police officers, as well as Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service officers swept into the iconic Rhode Island Capitol to raid files of the Speaker of the House - Gordon Fox."
 
"I've been around 27 years. We've arrested people at the State House, but I can't remember something like this before," said Rhode Island State Police Colonel Steve O’Donnell.
 
State Librarian Tom Evans, who has been working at the State House for 26 years, affirmed, “State policemen have only been in the State House to interview for investigations
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FALSE

FALSE

 

 
The Providence Journal falsely reported that federal law enforcement raided Fox's office at 32 Custom House.
 
First, Fox's law office has not been located in the building in more than 5 years.
 
Second, the office that the Projo cited has been vacant for years and has been being rehabbed (with Historic Tax Credits).
 
Fox's actual law office is located on the 2nd floor at 127 Dorrance Street. An office he shares with the lawyer who represented him before the Ethics Comission. Angel Taveras also was located in the office before being elected Mayor of Providence in 2010.
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FACT

 

FACT
 
Fox has been fined twice by the State's Ethics Commission. The first time was in January of 2010, when the Commission rendered a $10,000 fine against Fox.
 
Pursuant to the above Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Mitigating Factors, the Prosecution and the Respondent agree, pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-13(d), to the imposition by the Commission and to payment by the Respondent of a civil penalty of Ten Thousand ($10,000) Dollars. The above terms represent the full and complete Informal Resolution and Settlement for Complaint Nos. 2003-6 and 2003-7. 
 
The case started in 2003 and was related to Fox's role in agreement between the State of Rhode Island and GTECH. Fox's law firm represented GTECH. 
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FACT

 

FACT:
 
Fox was fined a second time for failing to report income tied to his doing legal work as a subcontractor to PEDP attorney Joshua Teverow. 
 
The Ethics Commission issued a $1500 fine in January of 2014 for this violation.
 
 
 

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