Rhode Island State Police will open the net even wider in looking into former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s failed video game company, 38 Studios.
According to the Associated Press, which cites an email from Rhode Island House speaker Nicholas Mattiello to lawmakers, police want to speak to every member—every member!—of the state legislature who voted on the bill that ultimately led to the state giving the company $75 million in taxpayer-backed funding. Mattiello said that includes lawmakers who are no longer in office, and that he would provide police with cellphone numbers unless lawmakers told him not to.
Schilling’s company went bankrupt in 2012, and the state remains on the hook for nearly $90 million as a result, though some Rhode Island officials have urged defaulting on the debt.
While the details of a criminal investigation against 38 Studios are unclear, it has come against a backdrop that includes a report from Providence station WPRI that found evidence of unregistered lobbying on behalf of the company. Veiled threats have also been sent to lawmakers who had been looking into the deal.
And last month, former House speaker Gordon Fox, who resigned from his post earlier this year after his home and office were raided by investigators, fought to quash a subpoena in the Ocean State’s lawsuit against Schilling and others involved in the deal. Fox said complying with the subpoena could violate his right to avoid self-incrimination. The request was denied by the judge hearing the suit, who said Fox could invoke that right on a question-by-question basis.
However a law enforcement source told WPRI today that the police’s plan to speak with lawmakers is not related to the Fox raids.
Fox’s lawyer has said he thinks more than 100 grand jury subpoenas have been issued as part of that case, which is separate from any criminal investigation.