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A lawyer for former House Speaker Gordon Fox told a judge Thursday more than 100 grand jury subpoenas have been issued in what he said he believes is a wide-ranging investigation by federal and state authorities that includes looking at the failed 38 Studios deal.
The attorney made the comments before Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein as he sought to quash a subpoena issued to Fox for a range of documents related to ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's now-bankrupt company. Silverstein is overseeing a lawsuit brought by the state's economic development agency over the $75 million loan guarantee it gave 38 Studios.
"We believe it's a wide-ranging investigation," attorney Albin Moser told the judge, adding that they don't know exactly what authorities are looking for.
The Providence Democrat resigned as speaker in March, a day after his Statehouse office and home were raided by investigators. Authorities have not said what they're investigating.
In his arguments, Moser cited Fox's constitutional protection against self-incrimination. Moser said he doesn't believe that a charge against Fox is merited with regard to 38 Studios, but that "we do believe that federal and state authorities are interested" in the company. He called their interest "a link in the chain of a possible prosecution" that triggers the ex-speaker's right to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege.
Moser wouldn't say after the proceeding whether the subpoenas are from a state or federal grand jury and declined further comment.
A federal grand jury has been meeting relating to the raid on Fox's Statehouse office, and a federal grand jury has issued at least one subpoena to Providence City Hall, which was asked for records relating to Fox. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office would not comment.
While state police say their probe into 38 Studios is ongoing, it's not clear whether a state grand jury is investigating. A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office said she could not comment.
The judge is giving Moser more time to make his case to have the subpoena thrown out. Attorneys for Wells Fargo, which issued it, object. The company is among 14 defendants named in the state agency's suit, along with Schilling.
Also in court Thursday, an attorney for one defendant told the judge a potential witness who had a consulting agreement with 38 Studios told his attorney he intended to invoke the Fifth Amendment in response to a subpoena for deposition testimony. However, Michael Corso's attorney told The Associated Press that was false. The deposition is scheduled for May 22.
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, has also received a subpoena in the case. Spokesman Greg Pare said Thursday she was subpoenaed March 5 by Wells Fargo for "various categories of documents" related to 38 Studios. She's in the process of producing documents, Pare said.
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