RI State Attorney Rebuffs Senator’s Request for Documents in 38 Studios Case

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. Sheehan used his power as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Oversight to try and get access to this information so that lawmakers could have a clear picture of what the state faced in making decisions on the $75 million loan that 38 Studios defaulted on.

At the time Sheehan said:

"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."

While Sheehan may well get access to the requested documents at some point later down the road, the attorney handling the case for the state said that the documents are protected. Defendants in the case filed a motion for protective order in Superior Court, which means that these documents will remain confidential until the court case has been resolved one way or another.

Attorney Thomas E. Carlotto informed Sheehan that "once a party moves for a protective order, this order shall act as a stay of the obligation to respond to the (APRA) request and the confidential material or attorneys’ eyes-only material shall not be produced until the court rules on the motion."

Sheehan said he was “disappointed by the motion to stay public access to these documents” and said he will wait for the Superior Court ruling to determine what, if any, action to take at that time.

There's no indication that the judge will make a ruling on this any time soon, if at all…

Source: North Kingstown Patch

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