SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A judge Wednesday refused Dan Doyle’s motion to dismiss charges against the nonprofit founder, which include felony counts of embezzlement and forgery.
Doyle was indicted in 2013 on 18 charges. Prosecutors allege he misused more than $1 million meant for the Institute for International Sport, which he founded back in 1986.
Doyle has since denied the charges and filed a request last week to have them dropped.
The trial started on Monday with 150 prospective jurors filling out questionnaires, which lawyers will review before jury selection begins. Jury selection continued Wednesday.
The trial is expected to last two to four months.
Records show Doyle’s organization received more than $7.3 million in taxpayer-funded legislative grants from the Rhode Island General Assembly between 1988 and 2011. The nonprofit also received millions of dollars from private philanthropic organizations, according to records.
But of that $7.3 million in taxpayer funds, it was a 2007 legislative grant for $575,000 that prompted the investigation that led to Doyle’s indictment. That grant was supposed to cover most of the cost of building that Doyle pitched as the “Center for Sports Leadership.”
In his grant application, Doyle projected a completion date of “no later than May 30, 2007” and proclaimed the building that would be built behind the Institute’s Kingston offices “will become the site of the foremost sports leadership program in the world.”
The exterior walls, roof and windows for the building went up without any complaints. But five years after the grant, with the interior of the building still only wood studs, a General Assembly committee asked the office of the Auditor General to investigate how the grant was spent. As the audit was getting underway in Sept. 2011, the institute received what would turn out to be its last legislative grant on September 15, 2011, for $157,500.
The audit report released in February of 2012 indicated Doyle’s organization could account for $163,400 of the 2007 grant, leaving questions about where more than two-thirds of the $575,000 went. A state police investigation was launched, and about a year later, Doyle was indicted.
Eyewitness News is in court for the hearing and will continue to cover each development of the trial. We’ll have live updates tonight on Eyewitness News starting live at 5.