2015 - Rhode Island College rescinded the honorary degree it had bestowed on Fox in 2010 and the Rhode Island Supreme Court disbarred the ex-Providence lawmaker as a result of his guilty plea to federal corruption charges. According to an order issued by the Supreme Court, Fox consented to disbarment two weeks after admitting to accepting bribes and using campaign funds for personal expenses as part of his plea agreement with prosecutors.
What outraged his constituents the most was that the East Side Democrat pocketed a $52,500 bribe using his position on the Providence Board of Licenses to help push through a liquor license for the Shark Sushi Bar & Grill, on Thayer Street.
He also came under fire for his role in the 38 Studios debacle. And just last year, he paid a $1,500 ethics fine for failing to disclose nearly $43,000 he earned preparing loan documents for a city economic development agency. And then came the $52,500 Shark bar bribe
Fox was living in a $488,000 white-washed brick Colonial on Gorton Street, near Blackstone Boulevard, and driving a 2009 Audi. Yet Fox had an anemic law practice and a House speaker's salary of $30,343. Also Rhode Island College is seeking to return a $55,285.42 donation that disgraced former House Speaker Gordon D. Fox, a 1985 RIC graduate, donated last May from a "R.I. House Leadership PAC."
Former Brown University Prof. Darrell M. West said,
"... a high-profile case of public corruption reinforces all of the old perceptions, it's just one more black eye for Rhode Island. People outside the state look at what's happening and just see a culture of corruption."
Fox said: "I cannot talk about the case at this time because the matter is still pending. But I can say that I am truly, truly sorry."
Edward Fitzpatrick, a Journal Columnist, recommends 5 things to change the culture of corruption in Rhode Island: