RI Attorney General says 38 Studios criminal investigation closed
Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, who said he was preparing to reactivate an investigation into the now defunct 38 Studios, said he considers the criminal investigation into the former game developer closed.
The move comes afterGov. Gina Raimondo, several lawmakers -- including House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello -- and five groups that promote open government asked the attorney general and the state police to release documents relating to the 38 Studios investigation. Access RI, the American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, the League of Women Voters and the New England First Amendment Coalition requested to review the documents related to the probe.
Kilmartin said his office made the determination to close the investigation after Rhode Island State Police said it would no longer devote any resources to the investigation.
“I have long indicated that though dormant, the criminal investigation into the 38 Studios scandal would be reactivated when certain events occurred, one of which was the resolution of the civil litigation pending in Superior Court," he said in a prepared statement.
Kilmartin said his office's investigation would have included a review of all of the documents from the civil litigation and witness testimony, but that was taken off the table when State Police Col. Assumpico said she considered the investigation closed and would not commit any additioanl manpower or resources to the investigation.
“Without the investigative resources of the State Police, however, it is fruitless to pursue these paths alone. Therefore, as of this date, the criminal investigation of the 38 Studios scandal is closed."
Kilmartin went on to say that it's his responsibility to respect the rights of people who are investigated but have not been charged. The release of documents now falls back on the State Police.
State Police Col. Ann Assumpico quickly responded to Kilmartin's statement on the investigation with her own statement saying she "whole-heartedly" disagreed with Kilmartin's assertions that refusing to reopen the criminal investigation, even though there is insufficient evidence to do so, would create the public perception of a cover-up.
"In my view, the case is closed. If presented with new evidence or leads, I will direct the State Police to reopen the criminal investigation," she said. "That is exactly what I told the Attorney General when we spoke yesterday."
"My tenure as Superintendent at the Rhode Island State Police may be in its early stages, but I can promise you that my administration stands for honesty, integrity and transparency," Assumpico added. "There will not be, and has never been, any cover-up of this investigation or unnecessary delay in its resolution."
Gov. Raimondo recently told NBC 10 News that she can not order State Police to release documents because if they are connected to the Grand Jury, it's against the law. "If it's information that is tied up with the Grand Jury, that's against the law," she told NBC 10 News. "I plan to go to the court again once the civil case is over to ask to rlease all the documents, all the state police documents all documents received in conjuciton with the grand jury."
"The way the law is in this country, you can't give up information obtained through the Grand Jury without permission of the court," she added.