Rhode Island Lawmaker Received Death Threat for Investigating 38 Studios Loan Deal

Rhode Island State Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Coventry) claims that he has received a death threat against himself and his family for investigating 38 Studios. Chippendale, the secretary for the House Oversight Committee investigating the failed $75 million loan deal for Curt Schilling's 38 Studios, said that he received a threatening letter at his State House office.

"It basically said that I have a beautiful family and I should stop poking around for their sake,” said Chippendale.

Chippendale and law enforcement took the letter very seriously and now his family is under police protection. The FBI and State Police are also investigating. Chippendale said that he is not the only state legislator that has been threatened. Despite the threat, Chippendale says he will continue his work to get to the bottom of the failed loan deal.

"I represent the people of Rhode Island. I don't represent people who are doing things that may or may not be illegal I answer to my constituents only," said Chippendale.

On Monday afternoon on radio station, WPRO's the Buddy Cianci show, Chippendale appeared with Michael Rossi, a former project manager for a sub-contractor of the video game company. Rossi showed a spread sheet that he says proves $25,000 set aside for 38 Studios was actually spent for a sound system at Tazza Caffe.

"I of course questioned that… that's part of my job. That lead to a closed door meeting and questions like are you a team player or are you not a team player? A lot of heat, a lot of arguments back and forth," said Rossi.

The Tazza restaurant in Providence was owned by 38 studios attorney Michael Corso (it is no longer open for business). His name has come up several times during the investigation. He is believed to have lobbied state lawmakers to approve the loan deal, though the Secretary of State – who announced the launch of an investigation this week – says that there's no record of Corso or 38 Studios registering with the state to lobby the government.

"As a licensed private investigator with the city of providence your obligated when you come across something illegal to report it. I did so. Once I reported it I was treated as though I was the criminal," said Rossi.

Source: WLNE-TV ABC 6

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