Recent testimony by Steven Costantino before the House Oversight Committee was a long-overdue step in the right direction.
While newsworthy, the appearance by the former House Finance Chair falls seriously short of the full investigation that clean-government groups have been demanding.
Margaret Kane, president of Operation Clean Government (OCG), said, “State House leaders want to move past 38 Studios, but they want to do so by sweeping it under the rug. The public deserves to know how this disaster occurred, and without an independent investigation it is unlikely that Rhode Islanders will ever learn the truth.”
OCG is also concerned that little effort has apparently gone into preventing similar disasters from happening in the future. “Even Mr. Constantino testified that he was generally opposed to moral obligation bonds,” Kane points out.
She added that Treasurer [Seth] Magaziner’s plan to strengthen a finance board which he largely appoints isn’t exactly the independent oversight that is needed.
Operation Clean Government is a member of the Investigate38StudiosNow.org coalition, which has been calling for the 38 Studios scandal to be investigated not only by the legislative oversight committees, but also by an independent investigator hired outside the legislative branch. Since the coalition called for these investigations, the Oversight Committee has for the first time been allowed to issue 38 Studios subpoenas. However, Governor [Gina] Raimondo has still refused to appoint a truly independent investigator.
The 38 Studios scandal, which has already cost the state many millions of dollars, shows no sign of going away.
[From a press release]
You watch the full testimony in the videos below: