Curt Schilling's video game business, 38 Studios, got a sweet deal from the state of Rhode Island to headquarter its business there- and, since the company went belly up, it appears the state is on the hook for (up to) $90-million of public funds.
There is now a boatload of public debate as to whether or not the money may even show up on coffers as Rhode Island may go ahead and default on the loans.
Now, the current Speaker, Nicolas Mattielo and his fellow members of state government may ALL be questioned by Rhode Island state police to see if there was any kind of muscling to approve the funds in the first place.
According to WPRI-TV, there is evidence of unregistered lobbying on behalf of 38 Studios.
From Boston.com's monitoring of the case:
But a contract uncovered by WRPI showed that 38 Studios had agreed to pay $300,000 per year to an associate of the state’s former House Speaker, Gordon Fox, to work with government agencies and officials.
WPRI also has an interview in their Target12 unit that says 38 Studios registered no one even though former R.I. Economic Development Corporation (EDC) executive director Keith Stokes publicly acknowledged a $125-million loan-guarantee program was created in part to benefit the company, and even though 38 Studios insiders repeatedly contacted state officials, first to secure taxpayer-backed funding and later to request tax credits.
What's the phrase about a duck...???
Here's an interview with the attorney, Michael Corso, who is close to former Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox. Corso helped put together the 38 Studios deal that looks like it will be in debate for a long time to see if the state will stay on the hook.