I-Team: Schilling, others investigated for possible lobbying vio - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

I-Team: Schilling, others investigated for possible lobbying violations

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PROVIDENCE -

Rhode Island Secretary of State Ralph Mollis accuses Curt Schilling and other 38 Studios insiders of violating state law covering lobbyists.

Mollis has scheduled a hearing Tuesday into the accusations. If proven, the alleged violations could be pursued as criminal.

The NBC 10 I-Team has obtained a letter sent by Mollis's office to the former Boston Red Sox pitcher. Schilling lost his fortune and his company when 38 Studios declared bankruptcy two years ago.

Schilling has been named a defendant in a civil lawsuit for the failed deal. He's also been battling cancer, though announced on Wednesday that he is in remission.

In the letter, the state accuses Schilling of not following the law while negotiating a $75 million taxpayer backed deal for his company to move from Massachusetts to Rhode Island in 2010.

The secretary's office writes, "It would appear on numerous occasions including on March 16 and March 22, 2010, you met with certain individuals, including duly elected members of the General Assembly to discuss the passage or amendment of certain pending legislation."

"You also met with certain representatives of a public corporation for the purpose of influencing policy making decisions or policy making actions of the public corporation... This activity would constitute lobbying."

Mollis was on Block Island on Wednesday and unable to discuss the latest developments.

In a statement, he said the investigation is ongoing against Schilling, and others.

"Our office has been diligently investigating who, if anyone, lobbied lawmakers regarding 38 Studios. It is our goal to uncover any lobbying violations, which may have occurred without our knowledge, which is why our office has sent letters of inquiry to all parties who we feel may have been involved in lobbying activity, and may be in violation of lobbying laws. We have recently received responses to our letters, and we are providing all of this correspondence to (NBC 10). Our office is now in the process of scheduling hearings, and has appointed Attorney Louis DeSimone to serve as hearing officer in these matters. It was DeSimone who served as hearing officer during the one time this issue was challenged previously during the Langevin Administration. Also, the first hearing is currently scheduled in the matter involving Michael Corso on Tuesday, July 1, 2014," the statement said.

Michael Corso, a historic tax and film credit broker and friend to former House Speaker Gordon Fox is also accused of lobbying on behalf of 38 Studios without officially registering as a lobbyist.

Thomas Zaccagnino, a former 38 Studios board member, is also being pursued by the secretary of state for failing to register as a lobbyist, as is former Economic Development Corporation director Keith Stokes.


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