38 Studios lawsuit

RIPR File Photo

The latest twist in the never-ending 38  Studios soap opera is the joust over grand jury secrecy.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says this spat is more about politics than legal precedent.

The state has reached a $16 million settlement with Hilltop Securities (formerly First Southwest), the last defendant in Rhode Island's lawsuit over 38 Studios.

If the deal wins court approval, there will not be a trial stemming from the state's lawsuit over the 2012 failure of the video game company -- and no testimony from key figures in what proved to be an expensive mistake for the state and its citizens.

First Southwest Company, one of the financial institutions involved in the ill-fated 38 Studios deal, is objecting to the state’s recent settlement agreement with two other banks in the ongoing lawsuit against actors in the video game fiasco.

Lawyers for First Southwest filed a memorandum in Rhode Island Superior Court objecting to the settlement with Barclays Capital and Wells Fargo Securities, which, if approved by the court, would yield just under $26 million in payments to the state.

Ian Donnis

State Police and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin will pursue no criminal charges after a years-long investigation into 38 Studios, the company that won a $75 million public subsidy to move to Rhode Island, then went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers on the hook.

In announcing results of the investigation, State  Police Col. Steven O'Donnell said a bad business deal doesn't necessarily provide grounds for a criminal indictment.

    

Cumberland State Representative Karen MacBeth, who last week changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, announced Monday that she will run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House in the First District, a seat currently held by Democrat David Cicilline of Providence.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Testimony is slated to be heard during a session Friday, related to the state’s lawsuit over 38 Studios.

One of the defendants being sued by the state, Wells Fargo Securities, is trying to obtain the SEC testimony of Michael Saul. Saul is a former deputy director of the state’s economic development agency.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former Rhode Island House Finance Chairman Steven Costantino is scheduled to meet Thursday with the House Oversight Committee probing the 38 Studios disaster.

House spokesman Larry Berman says Costantino, who now works in state government in Vermont, will meet with the committee to discuss his role in shaping the program that gave the doomed 38 Studios video game company a $75 million taxpayer-guaranteed subsidy.

The committee is slated to meet after the House floor session ends Thursday. The confab is scheduled for room 101 at the Statehouse.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The 2016 Rhode Island General Assembly session kicks off tomorrow. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has a preview of what to expect and some New Year's resolutions to suggest to the returning lawmakers.

As predictable as a winter chill, lawmakers throng Smith Hill tomorrow for the new  year. There will be the usual mélange of grandstanding,  pomposity and first-day-of- school style greetings.

RIPR FILE

The House Oversight Committee is expected to issue more subpoenas Tuesday in connection with 38 Studios, the video game company that went bankrupt, leaving Rhode Island with millions to pay from a state-backed loan. The committee is trying to review how the loan deal got approved.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has signed a subpoena calling on Curt Schilling to appear for a December 15th meeting of the House Oversight Committee.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

  

The gloomy cloud of the 38 Studios debacle still hangs over Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst  Scott MacKay parses the latest General Assembly probe of the failed video game company.

RIPR FILE

The House Oversight committee meets Tuesday for yet another round of hearings into the defunct video game company 38 Studios. The hearings come after the release of thousands of documents related to the state’s lawsuit with the company.

Among the major takeaways, the documents revealed some lawmakers may have known about a potential 38 Studios deal months before previously acknowledged. At Tuesday’s meeting the house oversight committee will receive an updated timeline of events.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The recent 38 Studios lawsuit disclosures have provided an inside view of how Rhode Island state government let you down. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay points to other state agencies in dire need of oversight.

RIPR FILE

A former House Finance chairman is downplaying his role in the loan program used to lure 38 Studios to Rhode Island in 2010. Steve Costantino now serves as a publicly funded health insurance program in Vermont.

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