NBC 10’s Dan Jaehnig followed up with Gov. Gina Raimondo about the recent 38 Studios findings, with the governor noting that she thinks the report should be made public.
“I do think the public deserves transparency and deserves to see that information,” Raimondo told Jaehnig.
During a press conference on Friday, the Rhode Island State Police and the state attorney general said no criminal charges would be filed in the case.
Investigators said there were state officials who knew there was a backroom deal when $75 million in taxpayer backed loans were steered to Curt Schilling’s video game company. However, it wasn’t disclosed when lawmakers approved the spending.
Attorney General Peter Kilmartin would not name names.
“All that is going to do is probably lead us to a violation of the rules of the grand jury,” Kilmartin said.
Kilmartin repeatedly said that revealing those details would break the secrecy of the grand jury process, a process his team chose. He claimed the benefit of its investigative tools outweighed the veil of secrecy.
But Raimondo said she thinks Kilmartin should petition the court to release the documents.
“At the appropriate time, I do think he should petition the court to let the documents be open so everybody can see and we can put this behind us,” Raimondo told Jaehnig. “A lot of taxpayers got hurt in this. We’re left holding the bag for tens of millions of dollars. People do want to know what happened, and so I do come down on the side of transparency.”
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, along with House Oversight Chairwoman Rep. Patricia Serpa, feels the same.
“I called upon the State Police and the Attorney General to release any and all information pertaining to 38 Studios,”Mattiello said on Monday. “The taxpayers have a right to the complete story.”
He added on Twitter, “Make no mistake, Rhode Islanders should be privy to this information and not left in the dark.”
Amy Kempe, who is Kilmartin’s spokeswoman, responded with a statement to NBC 10, saying the case is still technically open, though inactive, and to release documents now would be irresponsible.
Kempe also wrote what Kilmartin stressed last week when he announced there would be no criminal charges.
“The law is very clear about the rules concerning grand jury secrecy. These rules are made even more strict when a grand jury hears information, but does not return an indictment.”
But Raimondo also said Kilmartin, who voted for the 38 Studios deal as a lawmaker in 2010, should have recused himself from the investigation.
“I probably would have, but that’s up to him to do what he thinks is right,” Raimondo said.
Kempe said that a well-respected career prosecutor in the AG’s office handled the case with zero interference.
She also pointed to what happened last week when NBC 10 asked Kilmartin about recusing himself and the head of the state police stepped in to answer.
“I had full faith and confidence in him,” Col. Steven O’Donnell said. “I have even more full faith and confidence, no disrespect to him, to his prosecutors.”