To view this site, you need to have Flash Player 9.0.115 or later installed. Click here to get the latest Flash player.
(NECN: Peter Howe, Providence, R.I.) - Two weeks after Curt Schilling's 38 Studios filed for Chapter 7 liquidation, Schilling made his first extended remarks about the collapse that's endangered $49.8 million in Rhode Island-guaranteed loans, blaming Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
Chafee had as a candidate aggressively opposed his predecessor Don Carcieri's plans to lure 38 Studios from Massachusetts to Rhode Island with $75 million in taxpayer-guaranteed loans, then after revealing last month that the videogame maker's "solvency" was questionable, questioned whether it would be "throwing good money after bad" to extend 38 Studios more aid or tax credits.
During an hour-long appearance on the WEEI Dennis and Callahan show, Schilling was asked whether he thought Chafee was disappointed when 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy protection.
"No, not at all," Schilling said. "I think he had an agenda and executed it."
But pressed, lightly, on whether Chafee had malicious intent when he publicly aired doubts about 38 Studios' viability and business plan, at a time when, Schilling said, the company was seeking new investors, Schilling hemmed and hawed and said, "You'd have to ask him."
38 Studios said it had $151 million in liabilities, just $22 million in assets, when it filed for bankruptcy liquidation in Delaware earlier this month.
Schilling also indicated he's lost virtually all of what he saved from his $114 million baseball career and invested in 38 Studios.
"I put in just north of $50 million, I think, when all is said and done. I don't have an exact total," Schilling said, saying later, "I'm tapped out."
Chafee had no immediate reaction to Schilling's comments. However, the FBI, Rhode Island State Police, Rhode Island attorney general and U.S. attorney are investigating just how much of his own money Schilling invested and what's become of the $49.8 million of state funds already advanced to 38 Studios.
And many Rhode Island taxpayers aren't buying the "all Chafee's fault" version of 38 Studios' collapse.
"I find it hard to believe that Gov. Chafee would really try to drive a business out of the state," said Brian Knoth of Providence. "I think Schilling might be a little defensive at this point and trying to find other people to blame."
Barbara Conti of Providence said it appeared the original $75 million loan guarantee was badly vetted by Carcieri.
"He was known for baseball - I mean, Curt Schilling was known to be a pitcher, and made a lot of money pitching, but that doesn't mean you can transition to video games," said Conti. "I think he was probably very naïve. I mean, I don't think he did this on purpose, but I think he's in a very difficult industry that is very complicated."
Audio credit: WEEI
Video credit: NESN