38 Studios

A Superior Court judge has ruled that the Secretary of State’s office improperly used the courts to investigate a lobbyist for 38 Studios.

Scott Judge Daniel Procaccini ruled that Secretary of State Ralph Mollis and his lawyer misused the courts when looking into whether Michael Corso was registered with the state while lobbying for the failed video game company.

How did Mollis misuse the courts in the judge’s view? Here to join us with more is Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay

via WNPR

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has picked Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, a fellow Yale alum with experience leading economic-development efforts in New York and New Jersey, as her choice to be Rhode Island's first Commerce secretary.

"Stefan Pryor has the depth of experience and the drive to help me lead Rhode Island's comeback," Raimondo said in a statement. "Stefan's economic development successes in Newark and in Lower Manhattan are a testament to his ability to lead the Department of Commerce in Rhode Island."

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Gov. Lincoln Chafee said one of his biggest regrets is not getting his first budget passed. That budget proposed lowering the sales tax but expanding it to other items and services.


Rhode Island’s Democratic General Assembly leaders want to exempt pensions and social security from state income taxes. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if this makes sense in our cash-strapped state government.

House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, have both said that one of their top priorities when the Assembly convenes in January is legislation that would end income taxes on pensions and social security.

When Rhode Islanders head to polls next week, they will face an important issue that has not drawn much attention. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay looks at the Constitutional Convention question.

Our small state is holding a big election on Nov. 4. Statewide and federal offices are all being contested. Every General Assembly member confronts voters, who will also elect mayors in the Rhode Island’s two largest cities, Providence and Warwick.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

There’s a photograph on Cranston Mayor Allan Fung’s desk of his first inauguration. He’s being sworn into the mayor’s office he has the family Bible and his parents are by his side. “I can see the pride in my mom’s eyes, in my dad’s eyes as I was getting sworn in,” said Fung.

He looks at this photo almost every day, “and it just reminds me of who I am and how far they’ve come, and because of what they did I’m where I am.”

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.