In a release, Sheehan (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) said he requested copies of the materials on behalf of the committee through an Access to Public Records Act request in a letter to Thomas Carlotto, lawyer for CommerceRI (formerly the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation).
"I believe this information will help answer many questions left unanswered about how the ill-fated deal came about," Sheehan said.
Sheehan said the depositions of witnesses involved in the 38 Studios deal are the result of hours of work by the state's attorney and those records should be made public for the oversight committee to do its job as well as "help policymakers avoid a recurrence of such a failed deal in the future."
“Public hearings involving witnesses to the 38 Studios deal potentially could have interfered with the criminal investigations or potentially injured the state’s ability in ongoing efforts to recover monies from civil litigation against those responsible for the failure of that deal," Sheehan said. “The public and policymakers are entitled to know what transpired to bring about this failure. I believe there is a way to accomplish this while minimizing any potential harm to the lawsuit, and that is to review witness depositions and exhibits.”