The Rhode Island House Oversight Committee has written a letter to former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling asking him to testify before the committee as it continues its review of the $75 million loan deal that lured his video game company to the state. Chairwoman Karen MacBeth (D-Cumberland) told the Daily Journal on Wednesday that her office sent letters out last week to six other individuals she hopes will come before the panel in May.
Members of the Rhode Island House Oversight Committee said during a hearing on Thursday that they want to hear from former Red Sox pitcher and 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling and ex-Speaker of the House Gordon Fox as part of their ongoing review of the state's deal to lure 38 Studios from Massachusetts to Rhode Island with a $75 million loan guarantee.
The new chairwoman of the House committee that has been looking into the failed 38 Studios deal is holding her first hearing today, according to the Associated Press. Oversight Chairwoman Karen MacBeth has scheduled a hearing later today on issues related to the state’s lawsuit against former Redsox pitcher Curt Schilling and other executives at the now-bankrupt 38 Studios.
Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Ken Block (R) is as pleased as punch that newly-appointed House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has appointed two long-time critics of the 38 Studios loan to leadership positions in the House Oversight Committee.
"They both have records of standing up to the political establishment and fighting against the back room corruption of the 38 Studios deal," Block said of Reps. Karen MacBeth, the new chairwoman, and Spencer Dickinson, the new vice-chairman.
The new Rhode Island Speaker of the House, Nicholas Mattiello, says that he is hopeful that it will not be necessary to subpoena witnesses who were in some way involved in the 38 Studios loan guarantee, the Providence Journal reports.
The new chairwoman of the Rhode Island House Oversight Committee said that she wants to issue subpoenas to key figures in the 38 Studios deal including former House Speaker Gordon Fox. Rep. Karen MacBeth (D-Cumberland) said the committee could also seek to subpoena former House Finance Chairman Steven Costantino, as well as current and former employees of the Economic Development Corp.
MacBeth has been a vocal critic of the deal for quite some time and pushed hard to avoid paying back money owed on bonds related to the 38 Studios loan.
The Rhode Island Economic Development Agency (formerly the Economic Development Corp.) has scheduled a special meeting about its lawsuit against 38 Studios next Monday, according to the Associated Press.
While California State Senator Leland Yee (outspoken anti-video game crusader and author of the 2005 California video game law that was inevitability struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010) is getting a lot of press at the moment for being arrested by the FBI for alleged bribery and corruption, he is not the only state senator connected loosely with the video game industry in trouble this week.
The Providence Journal reports that the state of Rhode Island has hired Steven J. Johnson of SJ Advisors to study the potential impact of defaulting on the bonds related to the $75 million 38 Studios loan. Rhode Island lawmakers earmarked $50,000 in the current fiscal budget to study the potential financial impact that might occur if the state defaults on the loan guarantee greenlit by the RI Economic Development Corp.
At the end of February we reported that Rhode Island State Senator James C. Sheehan planned to seek access to depositions and documents related to the state's court case against Curt Schilling's 38 Studios.
It looks like Maureen Gurghigian, a senior vice president for the Lincoln office of financial firm First Southwest, will have to undergo more questioning in the ongoing lawsuit between Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (formerly known as the RI Economic Development Corp., or EDC) and bankrupt game developer 38 Studios, according to the Providence Journal.
Rhode Island State Senator James C. Sheehan released a statement announcing that, as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Oversight, he has formally requested that the committee be provided with copies of all documents (depositions and exhibits) relating to the civil lawsuit against 38 Studios.
Columnist Russell J. Moore (clearly not a fan of Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and his Director of Administration) says in a new column that Richard Licht, the governor's Director of Administration, finally admitted publicly that the Governor's office "wasn't watching 38 Studios" after the Economic Development Corp. greenlit a $75 million loan and before it eventually defaulted on that loan and went bankrupt.
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has quickly signed into law a bill that was passed yesterday in the RI House (and earlier in the week in the RI Senate) that will make it easier for the state to settle its lawsuit with 38 Studios and principles involved in the $75 million loan guarantee that enticed Curt Schilling to move his game development studio to Providence in 2010.
The Rhode Island House has approved a bill that will make it easier for the state to settle its lawsuit with Curt Schilling, other executives from 38 Studios, and others involved in the deal that could end up costing the state upwards of $100 - $110 million in the long-term. The RI Senate approved its own version of the bill earlier this month. With both houses of the State Assembly passing the bill, there's no doubt that Governor Lincoln Chafee will sign it into law the minute it crosses his desk (his administration pushed the legislature to pass the bill as quickly as possible).
According to a Go Local Providence report, one of the defining issues in the campaign that could hurt Rhode Island Attorney General (D) Peter F. Kilmartin is the 38 Studios loan deal, which he voted for while in the General Assembly.
Adding a new complication to the case for the state of Rhode Island in its lawsuit against former Red Sox pitcher and 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling is news today that he has been diagnosed with cancer. Schilling, who is now serving as an on-air sports analyst for ESPN, told the network about his condition today, though he did not go into any detail about what kind of cancer he has.
It should come as no shock that the Rhode Island Senate today unanimously approved legislation that encourages out-of-court settlements in the 38 Studios lawsuit. The news comes from a syndicated Associated Press report. The bill, which was floated to lawmakers by Governor Lincoln Chafee's office earlier this month and supported by the lead attorney representing the Rhode Island Economic Corp.
According to an Associated Press report, lawmakers in the state of Rhode Island are doing everything they can to fast track a bill that would make it easier for the Economic Development Corp. to settle its lawsuit against executives from 38 Studios and other parties being sued on behalf of the state.
Attorney Max Wistow, the lawyer who is representing the Economic Development Corp. in its lawsuit against 38 Studios executives and others involved in the deal, said yesterday before a Rhode Island Senate committee that money that could be recouped by the state is instead being spent on the ongoing court battle by multiple parties. He also claimed that 11 of the defendants in the case have "insurance policies that pay defense costs out of the policy limits."
"The resources to recover in the lawsuit are every day diminishing," he told Rhode Island lawmakers.
Max Wistow, the attorney representing the Rhode Island Commerce Corp. (formerly known as the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp.) said that he has had settlement talks in the case against 38 Studios. He says that the Rhode Island General Assembly should pass a new bill announced last week that encourages out-of-court resolutions.
"There's been enough discussion to make it clearly worthwhile to have the legislation passed," he said.
Wistow would not discuss who specifically he might have been talking to about a settlement.
On Wednesday legislation was introduced in the Rhode Island General Assembly that would resolve the the $75 million loan guarantee to 38 Studios and subsequent debt when the company defaulted on the loan and filed for bankruptcy in 2012. The proposal, which was submitted at the request of Governor Lincoln Chafee's administration, deals with Chapter 42-64-40 of the state's General Laws, which covers "court-approved settlements."
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation for information related to the state’s $75-million investment in former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's 38 Studios video-game company, according to a Providence Journal report.
The governor of Rhode Island said that he isn't surprised that many of the 38 Studios assets remained unsold after an online auction earlier this month failed to find a buyer. At a press conference today Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee told the press that Schilling's flagship MMO game "Project Copernicus," was a "a lot of junk."
The Rhode Island General Assembly is on recess until January, and while lawmakers in the state have kicked around a lot of contentious issues in the days leading up to the break, one committee has been silent since its last meeting in September: the House Oversight Committee’s review of the 38 Studios loan deal.
The Big Huge Games' assets that are part of the 38 Studios asset auction have fetched $320,000, according to a report on Joystiq. Sold as part of two lots, the Big Huge Games trademark was sold, along with the Rise of Legends and Rise of Nations strategy game properties. Details on who purchased these assets has not been disclosed.