A federal judge on June 11 ordered former Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox to three years in federal prison for stealing $108,000 of campaign donations, accepting a $52,000 bribe and filing false tax returns.
"This taints a lot of the good work I have done," Fox, 53, said outside the courthouse in Providence. "I have to stand up and take responsibility for it and be a better person."
U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi also ordered Fox to serve two years supervised release upon when his prison term ends, and pay $109,000 in restitution.
Fox pleaded guilty on March 3 to wire fraud, bribery and filing a false tax return. The plea helped reduce his sentence from the federal guidelines of 41 to 51 months.
In March 2014, police raided his State House office and home on the east side of Providence.
Officials charged Fox with using the campaign donations for personal expenses; accepting the bribe to lobby for issuance of a liquor license for an East Side restaurant while serving as vice-chairman of the Providence Board of Licenses in 2008; and failing to account for these illegal income sources on his tax returns.
"It is a great irony that the man in Rhode Island once most responsible for securing the passage of laws somewhere along the way decided he no longer needed to follow them," Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha said in a statement.
Fox must report to prison by 2 p.m. July 7.