Providence – Rhode Island Speaker of the House, Gordon Fox (D – Dist. 4) in a statement released by publicist, William Fischer on Saturday, said he will resign as Speaker due to an on-going joint federal and state investigation. See full statement below:
“The Rhode Island House of Representatives is an institution that I deeply respect and serving my constituents has been a major part of my life for the past 22 years. I will not let yesterday’s events distract my colleagues from addressing the challenges facing Rhode Island.”
“Because of the respect I have for all members of the House of Representatives, I am resigning as Speaker. The process of governing must continue and the transition of leadership must be conducted in an orderly manner.”
“I want to thank my colleagues and loyal staff for all that we were able to accomplish together. I will continue to serve out the remainder of my term and represent my neighbors and constituents in District 4. That said, I do not intend to seek another term in the House.”
“My personal focus going forward will be on my family and dealing with the investigation. Because of the nature of this matter, I will not be commenting further.”
Two decades of service – accomplishments overshadowed
Fox’s reign in the House for more than 2 decades has seen its share of controversy.
Presiding over the passage of controversial marriage equality legislation (2013) and the state’s comprehensive pension reform (2011) Fox didn’t shy away from contentious law-making.
First elected in 1992, Fox saw a steady rise in his service in the House. He chaired the House Finance Committee and served as House Majority Leader from 2002 until being elected as Speaker in 2010.
Reelected as Speaker in 2011 and again in 2013 by an overwhelming majority (66 of 75 votes), Fox managed to garner party support despite past ethics complaints, his purported involvement with the failed 38 Studios economic development loan deal and more recent 2013 Ethics Commission complaint.
Fox never waivered in his statement that the EDC was responsible for 38 Studios and that neither he nor the General Assembly were involved in brokering the 38 Studios loans or deal.
Just the Facts
Fox’s East Side home and State House office were raided on Friday morning by a law enforcement contingent including the Rhode Island State Police, FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Search warrants were executed. The contents of the search warrants were sealed. Details of the focus of the investigation are unknown at this time.
Fox on Saturday did not offer a specific date of resignation.