RI Lawmakers Want 38 Studios Lawsuit Depositions and Exhibits

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.

“Pursuant to the Access to Public Records Act and on behalf of the Senate Government Oversight Committee, I am requesting copies” of the material, Senator Sheehan wrote in a letter to Thomas Carlotto, attorney for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (formerly the Economic Development Corp.). “I believe this information will help answer many questions still left unanswered about how the ill-fated deal came about.”

"The depositions of witnesses central to the 38 Studios deal, along with exhibits, are the result of countless hours and expert due diligence by the state’s attorney and his legal associates," said Senator Sheehan. “I would like to make these records available for review by the Government Oversight Committee to help complete the public record as well as to help policymakers avoid a recurrence of such a failed deal in the future.”

Sheehan went on to say that past criminal investigations and the ongoing civil lawsuit have complicated the work of the committee, because public hearings involving witnesses who were part of the 38 Studios deal would "potentially could have interfered with the criminal investigations or potentially injured the state’s ability in ongoing efforts to recover monies from civil litigation against those responsible for the failure of that deal."

Despite that, the Senator says that lawmakers and the public have the right to know what happened with the deal. He closed by saying that the information his committee seeks is important because it “has dedicated much time and resources to reviewing the practices and operations of quasi-public agencies with an eye toward improving their performance, transparency and accountability.”

You can read the Senator's entire statement here.

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