Would Chafee really sue the EDC board?

My jaw dropped during our Oct. 6 gubernatorial debate when Lincoln Chafee suggested he might file suit against Gov. Donald Carcieri for backing the 38 Studios deal: “I guess the best I can advise Governor Carcieri is to pay up on his insurance premiums, because there is an avenue for those aggrieved to come after someone for fiduciary irresponsibility,” Chafee said. “I suppose that is the last recourse, but it’s unfortunate the governor hasn’t listened, and especially in light of the performance of the EDC under his tenure.”

That seemed like an extraordinary statement to me, yet it didn’t garner much attention. Well, Chafee issued a similar threat to members of the EDC board today before an audience of business leaders – and this time he drew gasps, the Projo’s Kathy Gregg reports:

With at least two members of the EDC board sitting in the audience as he spoke, the proposal drew a few audible gasps and at least one “Wow.”

“I am not sure [that] would encourage others to serve, if there is a chill out there about stockholder suits, which is what he referred to,” said EDC board member Paul J. Choquette Jr., vice chairman of construction giant Gilbane Inc. “It doesn’t move the ball forward.”

But “I am not going to comment on who I was going to vote for,” he said. “That’s something I am still deciding.”

Added Hasbro Chairman Alfred J. Verrecchia, who last year led an in-depth review of the EDC that was highly critical of the agency: “I guess I’d ask him is he going to sue us after he asks me to resign or before he asks me to resign.”

The moderator — Chamber of Commerce president and former Carcieri communications director Laurie White — said she, too, was “surprised that Lincoln Chafee raised the issue of fiduciary responsibility of the board. I think we need to get a little bit more clarity on what he meant by that.”

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