State finds improper lobbying in 38 Studios case

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Secretary of State Ralph Mollis has approved a decision concluding that an ex-38 Studios board member engaged in unregistered lobbying.

A hearing officer for Mollis’ office found that Thomas Zaccagnino lobbied without registering for former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s failed video game company, which received a $75 million state loan guarantee. Zaccagnino will be fined $2,000 if he doesn’t file required reports within seven days.

Mollis said Thursday that he’s acting in Rhode Islanders’ best interests and working to close the investigation.

Zaccagnino’s attorney Michael Connolly says Zaccagnino was never notified of the hearing officer’s decision and he’ll appeal.

Connolly also questioned Mollis’ timing. A state judge ruled Wednesday that Mollis’ office improperly involved the court in its investigation into whether 38 Studios consultant Michael Corso violated lobbying laws.

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