- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A top aide for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said Thursday she was just doing her job in 2010 when she emailed officials at the state Economic Development Corp. directing them to call in to radio shows to promote Rhode’s Island $75 million deal with 38 Studios, the video game company started by former Red Sox player Curt Schilling.

Amy Kempe was the spokeswoman for Gov. Don Carcieri at the time the deal was struck. She is now spokeswoman for Kilmartin, who is criminally investigating the deal.

The Associated Press on Wednesday reported on a chain of emails sent the day after the EDC approved a $75 million state loan guarantee to 38 Studios in 2010. The emails were among tens of thousands of documents released last week in the lawsuit over the deal. 38 Studios failed in 2012 after the company relocated from Massachusetts to Rhode Island and went bankrupt.

In the emails, Kempe directs EDC staff to go on talk radio to “set the record straight” and defend against “uninformed and outlandish claims made by pundits and political candidates.”

In a statement Thursday, Kempe characterized the emails as part of her job.

“I was communicating the governor’s request to the EDC regarding media surrounding the 38 Studios deal. As press secretary and communications director, it was my job to relay such messages on behalf of the governor,” she wrote.

Kilmartin responded to a series of questions by referring to a 2014 statement his office issued that said Kempe is not briefed on and doesn’t have access to information related to any ongoing criminal investigation. He did not answer specific questions related to the newly public documents, including whether Kempe will field questions or be involved in media strategy about his office’s probe into 38 Studios, whether she previously disclosed to him her behind-the-scenes role in pushing the deal and whether he thought her actions were appropriate.

He also did not answer a question about Kempe’s comments during a 2014 deposition, when she said multiple times she could not recall whether Carcieri supported the 38 Studios deal.

“I don’t recall any direct conversation with the governor directing me to explicitly provide his support for the deal,” she said at the time.

In her statement Thursday, Kempe did not address questions about her recollections during the deposition.

“I am not going to comment further on my former position or information contained in the deposition,” she wrote.

Kilmartin himself has faced criticism for his role in the investigation. He was a member of the General Assembly when it voted on legislation that allowed the deal to happen. He said Tuesday there is no need for him to recuse himself.

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