Critics unsatisfied with 38 Studios findings
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) —
While the Rhode Island State Police and the state attorney general said Friday that no criminal charges would be filed in the 38 Studios case, critics are saying there are still too many secrets.
During a press conference, 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 Mike Stenhouse of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity believes the public has a right to know what happened with their money.
“Today, our state government denied that right to the people,” Stenhouse told NBC 10 News.
Stenhouse didn't expect criminal charges, but wants to hear who was pulling the strings.
“I think it's outrageous that in the biggest scandal -- political scandal -- of our time, that after a four-year investigation, the public knows nothing more about this than we did before,” Stenhouse said. “This is a political whitewash.”
Schilling reacted to the news of no charges on Twitter.
"Could have saved 10s of millions more by telling you that 5 years ago,” Schilling tweeted. “Disgusted to see officers sent on fake (expletive) witch hunt."
Still, Kilmartin said critics won't be satisfied by any explanation.
“I'm also realistic enough to know there will be a minority of very vocal individuals who try to read more into this than what exists,” Kilmartin said.
There have been questions from the start over Kilmartin's independence. In 2010, he was a lawmaker who voted for the deal.
“I'll take that,” Col. Steven O’Donnell of the Rhode Island State Police said. “I was prepared for that, believe it or not. To begin this investigation, we heard it, I had a conversation with the attorney general and I had full faith and confidence in him. I have even more full faith and confidence, no disrespect to him, to his prosecutors.”
Gov. Gina Raimondo responded to the news with a statement that 38 Studios was a bad deal for Rhode Island, but she has no plans to call for any other investigation.
There is still a civil lawsuit that is ongoing.