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Violation found in 38 Studios lobbying case

September 19, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A hearing officer for the secretary of state’s office has found that a consultant for Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios violated lobbying laws by failing to register as a lobbyist for the failed video game company before it received a $75 million state loan guarantee.

The decision released Friday by hearing officer Lou DeSimone recommends that Michael Corso file all the required lobbying reports for 2010 within seven days or be fined $2,000. It must be adopted by Secretary of State Ralph Mollis. The office enforces lobbying laws.

Corso’s lawyers, Michael Lepizzera and Anthony Traini, said the conclusions were made without factual or legal support.

“The decision fails to cite a single shred of evidence in support of the hearing officer’s findings,” they wrote in a written statement. “This administrative proceeding has been a sham from the onset.”

If Mollis adopts the recommendation, they said they will appeal to the superior court.

Mollis said in a written statement that he is required to adopt the recommendation. However, he said he also will seek to clarify from DeSimone whether he can levy additional fines.

In his decision, DeSimone said that while the evidence submitted by Mollis’ office may be seen as “somewhat less than clear and convincing,” the office has met the limited burden of proof it needed, and that Corso had provided no evidence to the contrary.

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