Raimondo asks supreme court to unseal 38 Studios records

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Governor Raimondo is asking the Rhode Island Supreme Court to unseal all the grand jury records from the 38 Studios debacle.

Her lawyer argued in court Thursday that the governor has standing in the case, because the demise of 38 Studios cost millions of taxpayer dollars and shattered faith in economic development projects.

“The public has a right to see how its moneys were handled,” said Claire Richards, the attorney for Governor Raimondo. “This is essentially a once–in–a–generation financial transaction that has undermined the confidence of the people of the state in their government.”

The attorney for the state argued that still isn’t enough to make an unprecedented exception to the long–standing legal principle that grand jury records be kept secret.

“The burden that’s on the governor in this case from the very start, there’s been a baseline presumption, maybe no presumption that’s more bedrock in law, than secrecy of the grand jury,” said Assistant Attorney General Michael Field.

He says that secrecy is especially relevant in this case.

“It’s to the benefit of those who come before the grand jury, who are investigated, so that in a situation like this where there’s no indictments, they can go on with their lives,” said Field.

Comparisons were made to Watergate, where only some grand jury records were unsealed.

Some justices said that’s one reason they’re skeptical of the arguments to unseal all the records in this case.

The court’s decision is expected in several weeks.


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