RI Speaker of the House Relinquishing Leadership Role After FBI Raids

While California State Senator Leland Yee (outspoken anti-video game crusader and author of the 2005 California video game law that was inevitability struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010) is getting a lot of press at the moment for being arrested by the FBI for alleged bribery and corruption, he is not the only state senator connected loosely with the video game industry in trouble this week. A saga is also unfolding in the Rhode Island State House as Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox was forced to give up his leadership post (eventually) and announce that he would not be seeking re-election.

Fox, like Yee, is apparently the subject of an FBI corruption probe that led to a raid on his home and offices. Federal and state authorities raided Fox's Statehouse office and home as part of a criminal investigation on Friday. On Saturday the most powerful lawmaker in the Rhode Island legislature announced that he would step down from his post and not seek re-election. The 52-year-old Providence Democrat, who has served in the state legislature for over 20 years, said he planned to serve out the remainder of his term.

Law enforcement at the state and federal level have not publicly said why they raided the Speaker's offices and residence.

Fox barely survived a re-election fight in 2012 because of his fingerprints on the $75 million loan guarantee for Curt Schilling's 38 Studios. He strongly pushed for the loan through the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. to be approved in the state legislature. The company would later file for bankruptcy and close shop, leaving Rhode Island taxpayers on the hook for an estimated $100 million in loan repayments and interest. The state is currently suing Schilling, other 38 Studios executives, and principals involved in the deal.

We will have more on this story as it develops. Fox has not been charged with a crime as of this writing.

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