Rhode Island state police have indicated that they plan to interview lawmakers who voted on the job creation program that ultimately led to Curt Schilling's now-bankrupt company receiving a $75 million state-backed loan, according to a Boston Herald report. In an email to lawmakers on Wednesday, Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he was contacted by state police earlier in the week and had been "informed that they would like to ask questions of every member, past and present, who participated in the voting" on the loan program.
Mattiello went on to write in his email that he would be providing cell phone numbers to police unless anyone objected. Only one member objected, and his or her number was not turned over.
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed's spokesman Greg Pare also said that state police head Col. Steven O'Donnell also had contacted her to say authorities would be reaching out to senators.
In a statement, O'Donnell stressed that no one is suspected of wrongdoing "simply because of their vote."
O'Donnell and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin have said in the past that they are conducting a criminal investigation into the 38 Studios deal. O'Donnell on Wednesday said that the investigation is "active and ongoing." He says the point of contacting lawmakers is to "ensure that anyone with information, who has not been previously contacted, has the opportunity to present it."
O'Donnell also said that he was already aware Kilmartin supported the loan guarantee bill when he was in the legislature but is satisfied that the Attorney General has no conflict in the case.
Last night the Rhode Island State Police issued a statement clarifying their intentions with state lawmakers:
"Based on numerous inquiries from the news media, this advisory is going out to clarify yesterday's request to members the House of Representatives and Senate," said Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent, Rhode Island State Police/Commissioner. "This request was intended to ensure that any legislator, who has relevant information regarding the 2010 vote on the 'Job Creation Guarantee Program,' provides that information to investigators. The investigation of this loan, being conducted by the State Police and the Attorney General, remains active and ongoing. It is important to recognize that the goal of this request is to ensure that anyone with information, who has not been previously contacted, has the opportunity to present it. No member of the legislature is suspected of wrongdoing simply because of their vote."
"I am aware that the Attorney General, as a former representative, voted on this legislation. I remain satisfied that he has no conflict in this case, based upon his role as a legislator, and I have full confidence in the professionalism of the career prosecutors he has assigned to this investigation."
Source: Boston Herald