What did Gordon do?
From the moment he took his chair in the back of the assembly hall, to the reporters at his doorstep, Fox was not answering any questions.
Then the news hit, which in many ways was not even news: Gordon Fox was guilty of fraud, misusing campaign funds, and bribery.
He cried on the steps of the federal courthouse, and he wept when the judge informed the former Speaker, the rising star in the Rhode Island Democratic Party, that he would never be able to practice law again.
Of course, those tears were crocodile tears, most likely, since a number of felonious lawyers have had their bar licenses reinstated.
Including John Cicilline, the brother of Congressman David Cicilline.
Speaking of "Grand Theft Auto" Cicilline. . .
What are his connections to the Gordon Fox fallout?
ABC's Rhode Island affiliate ABC 6 investigated in March of this year. They interviewed Cicilline shorty after Fox's guilty pleas.
He had nothing of interest to say, which still invites interest.
"No I don't know anything about it," said Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) about former House Speaker Gordon Fox (D-RI).
Congressman Cicilline saying he is not linked to the legal troubles of now former House Speaker Gordon Fox. Fox's State House office was raided by the FBI and IRS last Friday, as was his East Side home, with boxes of possible evidence being seized. Cicilline and Fox are longtime friends and political allies.
They are long time friends, right? And Cicilline has no idea what happened to Fox?
Reporter Mark Curtis question: Have you talked to him at all?
"I have not... I made a call to Gordon. I wasn't able to reach him. I did speak to Marcus (Fox's husband), told him I was thinking of them, and that was it," said Rep. Cicilline.
Of course Cicilline was thinking of them, but probably thinking of what they might tell the FBI or other law enforcement investigators, too.
Fox and Cicilline are connected because Fox did legal work for the "Providence Economic Development Partnership" closing loans for the federally funded program, while Cicilline was Providence Mayor. While there have been no legal charges, might there be political fall out?
Reporter Mark Curtis question: Are you concerned your opponents might try to make hay and tie you to the Speaker's troubles?
It's already happening.
"Look Gordon Fox has been my friend for 20 years. I don't think there is any secret about that. Period. And I've had many campaigns, I will continue to work hard for the people of Rhode Island, I am not the least bit concerned about an issue which has nothing to do with me," said Rep. Cicilline.
ABC6 News Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "So far federal and state investigators have not said why they raided Gordon Fox's home or office, nor have they mentioned any connection to Congressman Cicilline. While the probe continues, no one has been accused of any wrongdoing, or charged with any crimes."
|Cicilline still smiling (for now)|
So far. . .so good for Cicilline.
But how much longer will the silence last?
Fox's home and offices, along with the statehouse, were raided in 2014. A year later, Fox gets caught, or rather exposed, and goes to jail. If this timeframe serves as the template, and Fox made a deal to help fry a bigger fish, then reporters and Rhode Islanders can anticipate a big story by the beginning of 2016, with the federal and Presidential elections in full swing.
Democrats should be leery of Cicilline, since he's had weak poll numbers in the past. Besides, Hillary Clinton's Presidential prospects is imploding, and a strong Republican at the top of the ticket could bring out otherwise noncommittal voters. Does the Rhode Island Democratic Party want to clean up another mess next year, with Governor Gina Raimondo already talking more taxes and spending, bigger government and more welfare, while hard-working residents decided to take their hard work and reside elsewhere?