Ex-Rhode Island House speaker begins stay at halfway house

AP News
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Posted: Aug 17, 2017 11:21 AM
Ex-Rhode Island House speaker begins stay at halfway house

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) — A former Rhode Island House speaker is beginning his stay at a halfway house in Pawtucket after more than two years behind bars.

Gordon Fox left a federal prison in Pennsylvania on Wednesday and arrived at the halfway house later in the day.

His husband, Marcus LaFond, said Thursday that he's relieved to have Fox back in the state since it'll be easier to visit him. The prison is roughly five hours from Providence.

The 55-year-old Fox is currently serving a three-year sentence.

The former Democratic lawmaker pleaded guilty in 2015 to corruption for accepting a bribe of more than $50,000 and taking more than $100,000 from his campaign account dating to 2008.

When asked how it felt to be out, Fox told WPRI-TV, "I don't know yet."

The move is not a release. It's a transfer to a less secure facility. Fox's release date is Feb. 14.

Fox became House speaker in 2010, but stepped down in 2014 after his home and Statehouse office were raided as part of a federal and state corruption investigation. He struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to charges of bribery, filing a false tax return and wire fraud for taking money out of his campaign account and using it for personal expenses.

The halfway house is run by Boston-based Community Resources for Justice. A spokesman told WPRI-TV that residents of the facility must have a job or be looking for work.

The station reports that Fox will share a room with another resident and will be allowed visitors from a pre-approved list.