PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Former House Speaker Gordon Fox pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of bribery, wire fraud and filing a false tax return following an investigation that included a dramatic federal raid on the Statehouse.
Fox maintained his composure in U.S. District Court in Providence, but his voice broke when admitting to the conduct and acknowledging he’d likely lose his law license.
Outside the courthouse, Fox was asked if he feels remorse.
“Absolutely, absolutely, without question,” he replied.
Fox began to cry when asked to comment on the charges. He said he could not because the case is still pending.
“I don’t want to be callous to any of the people in the state of Rhode Island, any donors, including the people close to me, the people that looked up to me. My family. It’s tough,” he said.
Tuesday’s plea brings an end to nearly a year of speculation about what the FBI, Internal Revenue Service and State Police were investigating when they raided Fox’s home and Statehouse office March 21, 2014.
Fox acknowledges he received a $52,500 bribe in cash and checks in 2008 to help grant a liquor license to a bar near Brown University when he served as vice chairman of the board of licenses for Providence. He also acknowledges making about 28 interbank transfers totaling $108,000, taking the money from his campaign account and using it for personal expenses.
Prosecutors and Fox agreed to request a three-year prison sentence.