State Police may question lawmakers on 38 Studios
NORTH SMITHFIELD — Lawmakers leery of impending State Police questioning received a clarification from Superintendent Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell late Wednesday afternoon, June 18, about the investigation his department is undertaking in the matter of 38 Studios.
Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello earlier in the day told his colleagues to be aware the State Police may seek to question some of them as well as their peers in the Senate in regard to their vote on the issuance of some $75 million in assistance given to the controversial former video game company owned by Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.
"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," Col. O'Donnell wrote in the statement on the situation.
He continued, "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."
The role of Peter Kilmartin, the current State Attorney General and former House member, in the investigation has also come into question. Col. O'Donnell reiterated his belief Mr. Kilmartin's office can conduct a thorough and impartial inquiry into the 38 Studies debacle.
"I am aware that the Attorney General, as a former representative, voted on this legislation," Col. O'Donnell added. "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."
All three members of the East Providence delegation in the General Assembly at the time of 38 Studios vote in 2010 who remain in office — Reps. Helio Melo and Joy Hearn along with Sen. Daniel DaPonte — supported the broader piece of legislation in which it was included, the bill calling for a $125 million package earmarked for use by the former Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. Sen. David Bates, who now represents a portion of the city but who did not in 2010, also voted in support of the Jobs Creation Guarantee Program.