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.
"I would look to bring anybody that I think can give us answers," MacBeth said. "The state wants answers about what happened. I think it’s my duty to get answers now."
MacBeth was named the new chair yesterday by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who was elected to the top House post last week after speaker Fox resigned following law enforcement raids on his Statehouse office and home.
Any subpoenas would have to be approved by the speaker. The former speaker was resistant to the idea.
MacBeth introduced a bill in this legislative session that would block any loan payments related to the deal. Gov. Lincoln Chafee and other lawmakers have said that not paying down the loan would hurt the state's credit rating and reputation.