- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 9, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The secretary of state’s office says it plans to hold a hearing in the near future on whether a lobbyist who gave former House Speaker Gordon Fox a $10,000 personal loan intentionally failed to disclose it for more than four years, and whether to penalize him.

Lobbyist Ray Rickman also must file additional information about the loan, office spokeswoman Raina Smith said Wednesday.

The secretary of state’s office enforces state lobbying laws. State law apparently doesn’t prohibit a loan from a lobbyist to a lawmaker, but the loan must be publicly disclosed. Rickman is a former deputy secretary of state.

Fox stepped down as House speaker in March, a day after agents with the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, and other law enforcement agencies raided his home and Statehouse office. Authorities have not said what they are investigating, or even whether Fox is the target.

Fox first disclosed a loan of an unspecified amount from Rickman last month in a series of filings to the state ethics commission, and Rickman on Tuesday amended his 2009 lobbying report to show that he had loaned Fox $10,000 on Aug. 17, 2009, when Fox was House majority leader. He became speaker the following year.

Neither Fox nor Rickman has said what the loan was for.

Rickman did not immediately return a message Wednesday seeking comment. Fox has not commented on the loan. The ethics commission oversees financial disclosure requirements for lawmakers.

Smith said Rickman must also amend his reports in 2011, 2012 and 2013, years when Rickman was a registered lobbyist, to include the balance of the outstanding loan. She said Rickman has been in touch with the office about how to do so.

The office also mailed him a letter Monday notifying him that he must amend his reports.

Fox appointed Rickman in 2011 to the commission that recommended new district lines for Congress and the state legislature. Rickman was a registered lobbyist for entities including insurance and social services.