The Latest: 38 Studios documents released

By News Staff

Reporting by Samantha Fenlon and Kirsten Glavin

Tens of thousands of pages of previously sealed documents in the 38 Studios lawsuit have been released.

It’s been three years since former Red Sox player, Curt Schilling, brought his video game venture to Rhode Island–a failed deal that left the state on the hook for $75 million.

The documents, which include more than 60 depositions from high-ranking officials, are critical to understanding the major question of who it was that brought 38 Studios to Rhode Island.

The disc was given to media around 3 p.m. Thursday and is divided into two main folders: Depositions, containing more than 1,300 files in 66 folders, documents comprised of both transcripts and exhibits. The other folder includes unsealed court records, containing 242 files.

The newly released documents reveal that 38 Studios talks began as early as the Fall of 2009, and could have happened as early as the Summer of that year. It wasn’t until 2010 that the state’s Economic Development Corporation officially struck the deal.

It was also revealed that former House Speaker Gordon Fox, as well as the lead director of 38 Studios, and Michael Corso–a Providence-based Attorney who advised the EDC in the planning of the company–all met at the Statehouse in 2009. Former Speaker Bill Murphy testified that he walked in on a meeting with the group. 

Fox is currently serving a three-year prison sentence on unrelated charges. He plead the fifth in two separate depositions related to 38 Studios, among questions he did not answer was whether he met with key players in the deal in July of 2009.

Another of the questions for to Fox addressed the choice of Rhode Island for a location: "In January or February 2010, had you made any promises to anyone at 38 Studios in exchange for the company relocating to Rhode Island?" As with other questions, Fox pleads the fifth.

Corso also pleaded the fifth, such as this one addressed to him: "Can you tell me whether any of your conversations with Mr. Fox about 38 Studios involved compensation to be paid to Mr. Fox?"

Current House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello spoke with ABC6 shortly after the documents’ release, saying the fact that Corso and Fox didn’t talk sends a message of its own.

"Well, you can draw an adverse inference in a civil case from a person’s choice to plead the fifth… so it does make you look a little guilty," he said. "Very disappointing. I think if you’re an elected official, particularly a high-level elected official, you have a duty to inform the public of your job performance or questions regarding what happened on government initiatives… and it’s inappropriate."

Also deposed were former Governors Don Carcieri and Lincoln Chafee, as well as current Governor Gina Raimondo.

Much of his deposition of Carcieri revolves around his knowledge of Wells Fargo’s involvement in the funding of 38 Studios. Carcieri said he did not know of Wells Fargo billing for their services, in addition to raising capital for 38 Studios, but said that he wouldn’t be surprised.

Carcieri did acknowledge the board, saying, "Lane and I think board members were aware that Wells Fargo had worked with 38 Studios on potential equity placement, yes."

State Representative Doreen Costa wasn’t in office at the time, saying the most important piece to understand the video game deal is knowing its key players.

"People need to know who they are, what was their involvement, what was so secretive… why did you not want your name out there," she says.

Most notably the man at the center of the debacle, Curt Schilling, was not deposed. When asked on Twitter if he will find a venue in Rhode Island to tell his side of the story, he replied, "Absolutely. Radio, most likely."

There are many other key players in the scandal. To read the complete set of documents, click here

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