Governor to seek release of 38 Studios grand jury documents

38-studios

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Gov. Gina Raimondo said Friday she will formally ask the courts next week to release grand-jury materials from the 38 Studios criminal investigation, setting up a potential clash with Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.

Raimondo made the announcement just after a judge approved a final legal settlement in the separate civil lawsuit over the failed video-game deal, which will bring that proceeding to an end. The governor had previously promised to seek release of the criminal case’s documents once the civil suit was over.

In addition, the governor’s office said R.I. State Police Col. Ann Assumpico “has directed her agency to review and release the non-grand jury documents in the agency’s possession,” which “will be released as soon as a review is complete.”

“Rhode Islanders were hurt by 38 Studios. I’ve fought hard to recover as much taxpayer money as possible and am pleased that Judge Silverstein has approved our last settlement,” Raimondo said in a statement. “Now that the civil case and criminal case is closed, we should make all the documents available to the public and give the people of our state closure.”

Q&A: How much will 38 Studios cost RI taxpayers when all is said and done?
Q&A: How much will 38 Studios cost RI taxpayers when all is said and done?

Kilmartin has strongly resisted growing calls for him to release the grand-jury materials, saying the secrecy of those proceedings is an important principle that should not be compromised, despite the public interest in learning more about the 38 Studios affair.

Kilmartin cautioned Friday that the state police may have trouble differentiating what material was not shown to a grand jury because their detectives weren’t in the room when prosecutors presented the case.

“I don’t know how the state police can make that determination,” Kilmartin said during a taping of WPRI 12’s Newsmakers. “It’s going to be hard for them to segregate out whatever is grand jury and what isn’t.”

He said he opposes any release of materials from the investigation at least until any statute of limitations expires.

“This is not a murder case,” he said. “This is financial in nature, we all know that, and most financial crimes have a statute of limitations of 10 years.”

Kilmartin also said that from what his office has seen, he believes “most of the general story is known” when it comes to 38 Studios.

“That this was a bad business decision, it was bad politics,” Kilmartin said. “But at this stage of the game – from what we’ve seen and viewed – that does not rise to the level of criminality.”

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Tim White ( twhite@wpri.com ) is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook