Rhode Island lawmakers are calling for Curt Schilling, and they're not standing on the mound to hand him a baseball.
The House Committee on Oversight voted unanimously Thursday night to ask Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to subpoena Schilling, the former Boston Red Sox star pitcher and owner of the failed video game studio 38 Studios. whose demise left Rhode Island taxpayers with on the hook for $75 million of moral-obligation debt.
"The motion in front of us it to, in lay terms, have the speaker issue a subpoena for Curt Schilling to come in front of this committee," said oversight panel chairwoman Karen MacBeth, D-Cumberland, during a hearing at the state capitol in Providence.
A spokesman for Mattiello, D-Cranston, has said he would sign the subpoena -- the first ever for the legislature.
Schilling, through his attorney, Edward Hayes of Philadelphia, had declined requests to appear.
The committee's legal advisor, though, questioned the subpoena's force outside Rhode Island. Schilling lives in Massachusetts and has worked as a commentator for Bristol, Conn.-based sports network ESPN. "The short answer is somewhere between no and probably not," said Charles Knowles, a former state representative.
MacBeth, who held hearings on the 38 Studios debacle last year, reconvened them after state Superior Court Justice Michael Silverstein ordered the release of most documents connected with the state's lawsuit against multiple parties over a $75 million loan in 2010 to 38 Studios.
The loan was part of a $125 million jobs creation bill and intended to lure Schilling's company to downtown Providence from Maynard, Mass.
Rhode Island is looking to claw back some of the money lost after 38 Studios shut down and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2012. After making payments the past two years on the debt, guaranteed by the state's moral obligation, Rhode Island was on the hook for $74.3 million on the debt including interest as of June 30, according to state documents.
Bond rating agencies had threatened to downgrade Rhode Island if it didn't pay the debt, saying moral obligation debt is tantamount to general obligation. Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's rate the state's GOs AA, while Moody's Investors Service rates them Aa2.
Also on Thursday, Providence attorney Michael Corso agreed to pay $45,000 to settle a trustee's claims that Corso received a $230,000 consulting fee right as 38 Studios folded.
A bankruptcy judge in Delaware, where 38 Studios filed the bankruptcy, must approve the settlement.