38 Studios

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Republican State Senator Dawson Hodgson is challenging incumbent Attorney general Peter Kilmartin. As part of our election coverage, Rhody Votes ’14, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch  sat down with Hodgson to talk about open records, strengthening gun laws and legalizing marijuana.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello on Tuesday told state reps that the law firm representing Adler Pollock & Sheehan "has withdrawn the subpoenas it was preparing for members of the General Assembly to offer deposition testimony in the civil litigation involving the Job Creation Guarantee Program of 2010."

The latest development comes after at least two current state representatives were contacted regarding subpoenas in the state's lawsuit over the failure of 38 Studios.

Rhode Island  Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein has upheld an initial legal settlement in Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s 38 Studios lawsuit over the $75 million state loan guarantee granted to the failed video game company started by Curt Schilling, the former  Boston Red Sox pitcher.

In an opinion released this afternoon, Silverstein approved a $4.4 million settlement reached with the Providence law firm of Moses, Alfonso and Ryan, a firm that advised the state on bonds of the ill-fated loan program.

A lawyer for Michael Corso, who was involved in talks to bring 38 Studios from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, on Friday challenged the legal basis for a hearing into whether Corso violated state lobbying laws.

A Superior Court judge is scheduled Tuesday to consider the first settlement growing out of the state’s lawsuit over 38 Studios. The settlement calls for the state to get a payment of $4.3 million.

After 38 Studios went bankrupt in 2012, the state sued 14 defendants to try to cut down the roughly $90 million owed by taxpayers. The first proposed settlement in the case was announced late last month. It involves the law firm of Moses Afonso Ryan, which served as bond counsel for the ill-fated 38 Studios project.

State Republican Chairman Mark Smiley joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the GOP gubernatorial primary between Allan Fung and Ken Block; the budget signed into law by Governor Lincoln Chafee; the outlook for electing more Republicans to the General Assembly; and the latest developments on 38 Studios.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is applauding plans by state police to speak with lawmakers about a 2010 vote that set the stage for 38 Studios to come to Rhode Island. A Job Creation Guaranty Program approved by the legislature was later used to channel $75 million to the ill-fated video game company.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the House budget; 38 Studios; the latest findings about public school performance in Rhode Island; and a new entry in the race for lieutenant governor.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A House vote in favor of a new $8.7 billion budget early Friday was dominated by debate about 38 Studios. The spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes $12.3 million dollars to continue paying back investors in the failed video game company.

Budget articles passed with lopsided margins and mostly no back and forth. Yet an attempt to establish an independent prosecutor to examine how the state bungled into 38 Studios sparked sharp exchanges. Representative Michael Marcello (D-Scituate) argued in favor of the outside probe.

RIPR FILE

A bill slated to be considered Tuesday by the House Finance Committee would create a commission to investigate loan programs like the one that funded 38 Studios. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has opposed the idea of lawmakers using subpoenas to probe 38 Studios.

The bill sponsored by state Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster) would create a nine-member panel to investigate unsuccessful state loan programs. Chippendale said it’s important to press for answers even if the state budget being voted on later this week includes money to pay back 38 Studios’ investors.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a 14-2 margin, the House Finance Committee Thursday approved an $8.7 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July first.  Lawmakers say they hope tax cuts will bolster Rhode Island’s underperforming economy.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Frank Ferri (D-Warwick), one of three Democrats running for lieutenant governor, joined Political Roundtable this week discuss his campaign and other issues, including 38 Studios and the Democratic race for governor.

Aaron Read / RIPR

The House Finance Committee is expected to vote this Thursday on a new state budget for the fiscal year beginning July first. The General Assembly traditionally makes significant revisions to the governor’s proposed spending plan.

A Superior Court judge has declined to quash a subpoena calling for former House speaker Gordon Fox to answer questions related to the state’s lawsuit over 38 Studios.

The ruling by Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein means that Fox must attend a deposition conducted by one of the 14 defendants being sued by the state over 38 Studios.

A variety of speakers from across the Rhode Island political spectrum will hold a Statehouse rally this afternoon to urge the General Assembly to oppose paying off the 38 Studios bonds.

Among those speaking are Larry Girouard of the R.I. Taxpayers group, spokes people from the R.I. Libertarian Party, the R.I. Green Party and Occupy Providence, the local offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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