38 Studios

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

A coalition of five advocacy groups wants Rhode Island lawmakers to declare whether or not they support thorough legislative hearings and an outside investigation to document what went wrong with 38 Studios.

Hurricane Joaquin blows toward Rhode Island as the state remains vexed by its own ring of challenges: the hangover of 38 Studios, trying to modernize state agencies, financially troubled fire districts, you name it. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

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.

Phil West, the longtime former director of Common Cause of Rhode Island, joins Bonus Q+A to talk about fallout from 38 Studios, the fight for better government, criminal-justice reform, and much more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Longtime former Common Cause of Rhode Island head Phil West joins Political Roundtable to discuss the fallout from the release of thousands of pages of 38 Studios court documents.

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.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The 38 Studios lawsuit disclosures have once again cast a cloud over the Rhode Island Statehouse. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders when Rhode Islanders will finally be fed up enough to bring change to Smith Hill.

There will be a day when Rhode Island moves beyond 38 Studios, but that day is a long time off. The public release Thursday of tens of thousands of pages of documents is just one more step toward trying to get a better understanding of Rhode Island's most recent scandal. So with that in mind, thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me all week on the twitters. Here we go.

John Bender

Former Gov. Lincoln Chafee, now seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, weighed in this afternoon on the release of the 38 Studios court documents.

It was Chafee, a vigorous opponent of the 38 Studios deal when he was running for governor in 2010, who later hired lawyer Max Wistow to file suit against principals in the deal. 38 Studios went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers holding the bag for $75 million in state-backed bonds to the company run by former Boston Red Sox star pitcher Curt Schilling.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

During a closed session on June 9, 2010, the board of Rhode Island's Economic Development Corporation received a briefing on what then-Governor Don Carcieri suggested was a "fairly significant transaction" that had presented itself to the EDC.

Happy Friday, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. 

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein declined Friday to order the release of a fraction of the documents considered peripheral to the state’s lawsuit over 38 Studios. The documents most central to the lawsuit are expected to be made public next week.

Banking giant Wells Fargo objected to the release of about 8 percent of the documents it produced in discovery during the lawsuit over 38 Studios. Silverstein indicated he agreed with the company’s argument that releasing the material could help Wells Fargo’s competitors.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR file photo

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss Governor Gina Raimondo's changes at the state Department of Transportation; Raimondo's unresolved truck-toll proposal; and whether there's justification to keep confidential some of the 38 Studios documents.

For more Newberry, listen to his appearance on our Bonus Q+A.

RIPR file photo

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein has slated two hearings, starting next Tuesday, on whether to keep confidential some of the documents related to the state's lawsuit over 38 Studios.

It is not clear why Silverstein decided to take this step. Court Clerk Henry S. Kinch Jr. says the judge is trying to get consensus from the different parties in the case.

"He’s really focused on getting as much of the material that is agreed upon to be released," Kinch said. "That’s what he’s trying to do here."

RIPR file photo

Court officials met throughout the morning Monday without reaching a decision on how to distribute thousands upon thousands of pages of documents from the state's lawsuit over failed video-game maker 38 Studios.

Superior Court Clerk Henry S. Kinch Jr. said the talks will continue, although it remains unclear for now when a process for making the information public will be established.

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