I-Team: Names of top RI politicians, lawyer on 38 Studios documents
The NBC 10 I-Team has uncovered documents that call into question when top Rhode Island lawmakers first became involved with the now-bankrupt 38 Studios.
This new information includes the names of former House Speaker William Murphy, Gordon Fox and Providence attorney Michael Corso. The details change the timeline given about former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's gaming company and its move from Massachusetts.
Murphy admits to the I-Team that he visited 38 Studios' Massachusetts office before any other Rhode Island leader publicly discussed 38 Studios.
Yet, documents obtained by the NBC 10 I-Team seem to show Murphy was not the only state politician and power player meeting with 38 Studios before its move to Rhode Island.
The I-Team has obtained an internal file of what appears to be a log of non-disclosure agreements between people and companies involved with 38 Studios. On Oct. 8, 2009, Murphy's name is seen next to a notation of a confidentiality agreement. When asked Friday if he signed a confidentiality agreement, Murphy said, "I believe I did."
It's not unusual for a tech company to demand confidentiality agreements. The company's work is secret, in a highly competitive market. However, two other names also appear on that 38 Studios log on the same day. Providence attorney Michael Corso, a broker who deals in historic and film tax credits is on the list and, his friend, former House Speaker Gordon Fox is listed too.
"I did not go there with Michael Corso and Gordon Fox," Murphy said.
"I'm not commenting on anything on the advice of counsel and that's all I can say right now," Fox told NBC 10 on Friday. When asked if he went to 38 Studios in Massachusetts with Murphy and Corso, Fox said "no comment."
"That's not my document. I don't know whose document that is," Murphy said. The I-Team asked Murphy to explain how all three names are on a list of non-disclosure agreements. "It is what it is. Ask 38 Studios," Murphy said.
The video game company went bankrupt in June 2012. Schilling and 13 defendants are now being sued by Rhode Island's Economic Development Corp. to recoup some of the $75 million loan guaranty that was lost went the company went under.
Publicly the negotiations to move 38 Studios from Maynard, Massachusetts,to Providence are said to have started when Gov. Don Carcieri attended a fundraiser at Schilling's home in March 2010. There has never been a mention of Murphy, Fox and Corso connecting with 38 Studios five months earlier.
Murphy said he was at 38 Studios to help connect Schilling with Murphy's then counterpart in Massachusetts, House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
"I was asked to arrange a meeting with 38 Studios, with the speaker in Massachusetts and I did that and that's the end of my involvement, thank you," Murphy said.
There was nothing illegal about Rhode Island politicians and Corso meeting with 38 Studios. However, the document calls into question the time frame the public has been told about just when these men connected with the now-defunct gaming company.
The NBC 10 I-Team has visited Corso's Providence office and attempted to reach him by phone for comment.