Carcieri breaks silence on 38 Studios, in interview with WPRI’s Tim White

Sep 13, 2012

Former Governor Don Carcieri offers his first interview on the demise of 38 Studios, with Channel 12′s Tim White. Ted Nesi has more:

Carcieri sat down with WPRI 12′s Tim White on Thursday morning for an exclusive one-on-one interview – his first since last spring’s dramatic implosion of Curt Schilling’s video game company, which received a $75 million loan guarantee from Rhode Island taxpayers on Carcieri’s watch.

“I will take responsibility for approving the deal,” he said during a taping of WPRI 12′s Newsmakers. “When I left office, it was just beginning. … I have no knowledge and no input after that, and it looks to me from the outside that there was a lot of things that might have been able to be done along the way here to salve 300 jobs.”

Carcieri discusses a wide range of topics, including his surprise and regret at what happened; how much blame he puts on his successor Lincoln Chafee, Curt Schilling and state lawmakers; and whether the EDC did enough to vet the deal in advance. He also has his own opinion about what should happen to bondholders.

Highlights from the Carcieri interview will air on WPRI 12 tonight at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and the full extended interview will be posted online. The entire episode of Newsmakers will air at a special time Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (or after football) on WPRI 12 in addition to its regular showing at 10 a.m. on Fox Providence.

Carcieri has moved quite slowly to answer questions about a project he championed. But he deserves credit for doing this interview with one of RI’s best journalists.