- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Law enforcement contacted the Rhode Island Board of Elections about former House Speaker Gordon Fox on the same day his home and Statehouse office were raided by the FBI last month, the board’s director of campaign finance told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Richard Thornton said the board was contacted March 21, but would not specify which agency contacted the board or give other details. He said it was the only time law enforcement has contacted the board about Fox. Earlier Wednesday he had declined to say when the contact happened.

“The board does not disclose the nature or substance of any communications with law enforcement officials concerning any ongoing investigation being conducted by either the board or law enforcement agencies,” Thornton wrote. “Further, the board does not divulge the extent to which it has either received a grand jury subpoena or participated in any grand jury proceedings in either federal or state court.”

Last month’s raid by the FBI, IRS and state police is part of a criminal investigation, although authorities have so far refused to say what it entails or whether Fox is the target.

Jim Martin, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, would not comment about the Board of Elections’ contact with law enforcement.

Fox resigned his position as speaker the day after the March 21 raids, although he is still a member of the House, representing Providence. He has not publicly commented on the investigation, other than to say when he resigned his leadership post that he wanted to focus on his family and dealing the probe.

Fox’s lawyer, Albin Moser, did not immediately return messages seeking comment Wednesday.

Candidates for state and local office in Rhode Island are required to report their campaign contributions and expenditures to the board every quarter and at smaller intervals surrounding elections. The board’s campaign finance division oversees that reporting and also receives and investigates complaints from the public about alleged violations of campaign finance laws.

Fox is listed in campaign finance documents as his own campaign treasurer, a practice that is allowed under Rhode Island law. His most recent filing, an amended copy of which was filed Feb. 18, says he had around $200,000 in his campaign account as of Dec. 31.

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