In 1904, the legendary muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens wrote, "The political condition of Rhode Island is notorious, acknowledged and it is shameful... Rhode Island is a state for sale... and cheap."
It's a state where a governor was sent to jail, and so was the mayor of its capital city. Now, the speaker of the Rhode Island House has suffered a stunning fall from grace. On Friday, FBI and IRS agents raided the office and home of House Speaker Gordon Fox. Fox resigned his speakership the following day and says he will not seek re-election to the House.
But but so far, he's refused to address the substance of the investigation. Meanwhile, his colleagues are about to elect a new speaker, with news just in that House Majority Leader Nick Mattiello has the votes to be Fox's replacement.
- "You would think that a state that has seen a governor go to jail and the mayor of its capital city incarcerated between stints as a popular radio host would be blasé about another politician in trouble."
- "Gordon D. Fox, a lawyer, former nightclub owner and child of the Mount Hope section of Providence’s East Side, rose to arguably the most powerful position in Rhode Island government on Feb. 11, 2010, when he was voted the state’s 222nd speaker of the House after 17 years in the General Assembly."
This segment aired on March 25, 2014.