Rhode Island State Representative Mike Chippendale, who is also the Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Secretary of House Oversight, has requested that Michael Corso and Sean Esten appear before the Oversight Committee regarding the 38 Studios bond approval deal. The request is for a voluntary appearance before the committee and not a subpoena. Corso's testimony is sought after because he served as lawyer and consultant for 38 Studios, while Esten is a former Financial Portfolio Manager for the RI Economic Development Corporation.
"Michael Corso certainly would be a valuable witness for the Oversight Committee," said Chippendale. "Folks who follow Rhode Island politics are likely familiar with this attorneys’ name. Mr. Corso is directly mentioned throughout the 38 Studios documentation, but is also vaguely alluded to in others. I have every reason to believe he is capable of clearly explaining his role in this deal.."
According to Chippendale's understanding of Esten's role in the deal, he was tasked with assessing the financial “pros and cons” of loaning $75 million dollars to 38 Studios and had raised several red flags throughout the assessment process.
"Mr. Esten plainly laid out financial concerns that did not require a finance degree for the leadership of the EDC to understand," Chippendale continued. "He correctly pointed to the improbability of a start-up operating on loaned revenue, hitting all the financial milestones in the overly aggressive and frankly unrealistic business plan."
Chippendale went on to say that tax payers and lawmakers in the state would be very interested in learning who else listened to Esten's concerns when he raised them prior to the deal's approval.
"Make no mistake, our committee has the power and authority to compel testimony through subpoenas – and we will not hesitate to go that route if we are stonewalled at any juncture by anyone the committee has requested an appearance by," added Chippendale.
Source: GoLocal Providence