PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After a state investigation found that an attorney for 38 Studios violated state lobbying laws, the secretary of state’s office is now setting its sights on a former member of the failed video game company’s board.
The first hearing focusing on former 38 Studios board member Thomas Zaccagnino was held Thursday, however Zaccagnino was not present.
It comes after a Target 12 Investigation uncovered that not a single person registered as a lobbyist on behalf of 38 Studios as it secured a $75 million loan guarantee from the state of Rhode Island.
Last month, a hearing officer found that attorney Michael Corso violated state lobbying laws. The office of Secretary of State Ralph Mollis began another round of questioning Thursday, this time alleging that Zaccagnino also failed to register as a lobbyist.
Target 12 revealed Zaccagnino had meetings with top state officials right before the company’s collapse. The company’s founder, Curt Schilling, is also expected to be the focus of a hearing later on.
If Zaccagnino is found to have lobbied without registering with the state, he could face a fine. The hearing officer is expected to take up the Zaccagnino hearing again on Oct. 23.
Meanwhile, Corso was fined $2,000 for the lobbying violations, but Mollis questioned the hearing officer, asking why the fine wasn’t larger. Corso’s attorney plans to appeal, saying the hearing was a sham.