RI Governor accused of driving 38 Studios under

Kingdoms of Amalur
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

October 7th 2013 at 8:32AM

Former head of the RIEDC says Gov. Lincoln Chafee blocked attempts to restructure debt or raise capital

The former head of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation accuses Governor Lincoln Chafee of undermining 38 Studios' efforts to remain solvent.

The Kingdoms of Amalur developer went under last year in a messy bankruptcy case involving $75 million in state-backed loans as part of a deal with the RIEDC.

Now the Boston Globe reports that the lawyer for the organization's former director, Keith Stokes, has alleged in court documents that in late 2011 and early 2012 the Governor blocked 38 Studios' attempts to restructure its debt or raise more capital.

The filing also claims the Governor refused to meet with 38 Studios executives in 2011 to discuss the company's issues and rebuffed efforts to bring them to the EDC board.

Stokes resigned his position as EDC director last year and has since been named as one of the defendants in the lawsuit against 38 Studios executives and others close to the deal that brought the developer to Rhode Island from Massachusetts.

The suit alleges fraud, negligence, and breach of fidiciary duty on the grounds that the defendants knew the company would run out of money but concealed this from the EDC board.

Chafee opposed the deal openly while campaigning for Governor, and has maintained that he did everything he could to help keep the company solvent.

38 Studios founder Curt Schilling, also a defendant, has separately accused Chafee of undermining his company by making a public statement admitting his doubts about the odds the company could avoid bankruptcy.

Schilling says these remarks killed a deal that could have saved his studio.