RI's 5 things: Fox's lobbyist loan, lead paint

Associated PressJuly 12, 2014 

— More lawsuits in the 38 Studios matter, some landlords are apparently ignoring a law meant to make older homes healthier for children and former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez moves to a new jail. Here are five things to know in Rhode Island.

38 STUDIOS

Two former state economic development executives sued the lawyers who advised their agency during the disastrous deal to give a $75 million state loan guarantee to 38 Studios, but one dropped out of the lawsuit a few days later. Keith Stokes, former executive director of the former Economic Development Corp., decided not to pursue the matter. His ex-deputy, Michael Saul, is continuing with the malpractice lawsuit. Stokes and Saul are among the many parties being sued by the EDC over 38 Studios. They include the video game company's founder and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

FOX'S LOBBYIST LOAN

A lobbyist who gave a $10,000 personal loan to former House Speaker Gordon Fox is likely to be called before a hearing by the secretary of state's office after he failed to disclose the loan for more than four years. A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Ralph Mollis says Ray Rickman should have noted the loan on his 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 reports but did not, a violation of lobbying disclosure laws. The loan didn't come to light until last month, when Fox reported it to the ethics commission. Rickman amended his 2009 report this week.

LEAD PAINT

A new study found that a law meant to reduce children's exposure to dangerous lead paint was being ignored by many property owners. It also found that when the law is followed, it can help reduce blood lead levels in children. The study by Brown University looked at the effect of the law on children in Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket and Central Falls. The law took effect in 2005 and requires landlords of many homes built before 1978 to take a lead awareness class, have their properties inspected and correct lead hazards such as chipping paint.

DEFENSE INDUSTRY

A new report estimated that the defense sector accounts for 6.2 percent of Rhode Island's total employment and that defense workers are paid the highest wages in the state. The Rhode Island Defense Economy Planning Commission says the industry accounts for 33,000 jobs, when counting workers in defense and other businesses in which it generates employment. It says every 100 jobs created in the private defense industry support 152 jobs in other sectors. Sen. Louis P. DiPalma, a member of the commission, said the report will help the state's leaders decide how to best make investments.

AARON HERNANDEZ

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez made two court appearances in one of his murder cases this week and changed jails. Hernandez was moved from Bristol County, Massachusetts, to a jail in Boston to be closer to his lawyers. Also, the Patriots agreed to turn over 317 pages of medical and training records to his lawyers — though the team objected to turning over nine pages of scouting reports, saying they contained trade secrets. A judge set a hearing for July 22. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the June 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. He has also pleaded not guilty to killing two men in Boston in 2012 in a separate case.

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