General Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo must give a deposition in a lawsuit over the deal that gave ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's video game company a $75 million state-backed loan, a Rhode Island judge said Friday.
Raimondo was not in office when the agency formerly known as the Economic Development Corp. approved the loan guarantee for 38 Studios, and she opposed it when she was running for treasurer.
But an attorney for one of the defendants in the suit, former EDC Executive Director Keith Stokes, wants to question her about communications she had with Stokes and others at the agency while she was a candidate. David Martland subpoenaed her last week.
During a hearing Friday in Superior Court, Raimondo attorney Raymond Marcaccio argued the subpoena should be quashed, saying his client has information that is "quite limited" and not relevant or significant to the case. He called her a bystander and proposed that she answer written questions.
But Martland said she shouldn't be treated differently than any other witness. He indicated Raimondo had had communications with EDC board member George Nee regarding her concerns about the deal, and had also met with Stokes and former agency lawyer Robert Stolzman. Stolzman is also named in the EDC's suit.
38 Studios went bankrupt in 2012. The state remains on the hook for some $89 million related to the transaction.
After hearing arguments, Judge Michael Silverstein called it appropriate for Raimondo to give a deposition and ordered that it be held in the second half of August. He limited it to one day.
Raimondo is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in the Sept. 9 primary.
In a statement Friday afternoon, Marcaccio said of the treasurer, "She respects the court's decision and will participate fully and willingly in this process and is committed to helping the state move past this extremely disappointing chapter."
Defense lawyers said Friday they also want to depose Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who similarly opposed the 38 Studios deal in 2010 when he was a candidate. The Democrat serves as chairman of the board of the EDC, which has since been renamed the Commerce Corp.
Former Republican Gov. Don Carcieri, a strong backer of the loan guarantee, was to continue Friday a deposition that began Thursday.