You can probably chalk this up to "positioning in a political year against a tough opponent," but Republican attorney general candidate Dawson Hodgson says it is time for the incumbent Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin to admit that he may be a "potential witness" in the state police’s 38 Studios investigation that he needs to "stand aside" because "the appearance of a conflict of interest … is just too strong."
Hodgson's comments follow news last week that the Rhode Island State Police wants to talk to lawmakers who voted on the bill. Hodgson contends that Kilmartin, a legislator in 2010, voted on the deal that earmarked a $75 million loan for 38 Studios.
Hodgson’s statement said that the news highlights "the fact that Peter Kilmartin and his senior staffer are just too close to the 38 Studios scandal to be counted on to provide justice to the people in this matter."
The senior staffer he is referring to is Amy Kempe, former communications director for Gov. Donald Carcieri, who led the state economic-development board that approved the state-backed loan.
"In her current position, Ms. Kempe has done all the talking for Peter Kilmartin on the matter of getting answers and justice for 38 Studios. Yet, as spokesperson for Governor Carcieri she actively worked to keep the 38 Studios insider deal secret from the public and press," Hodgson said.
"These two circumstances cannot be reconciled with any credibility. … The Attorney General and any of his staff who are connected to the 38 Studios deal owe it to the People of Rhode Island to recognize this conflict and stand aside," he added.
Kilmartin's office issued the following statement concerning Hodgson's comments:
"Dawson Hodgson has used this news to make another politically based demand that this office step aside from the criminal investigation concerning this loan," said Kilmartin’s assistant public-information officer, Emily Martineau.
"His statement is clearly intended to undermine the public’s confidence in the work of this office and the Rhode Island State Police," she said, adding that Kilmartin "has no conflict in this case," and has "full confidence in the professionalism of the career prosecutors he has assigned to this investigation."
Source: Providence Journal