R.I. returns Curt Schilling's payment

Updated: May 18, 2012, 11:29 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Rhode Island has returned a promised payment of $1.1 million from former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's troubled video game company after learning the check would bounce.

38 Studios hand-delivered the check to the state's Economic Development Corp. on Thursday evening, but a company official told the agency that there were insufficient funds to cover the payment.

Schilling, an ESPN baseball analyst, hasn't commented this week on his company's troubles. But the following was posted to his Facebook page late Thursday: "To all the prayers and well wishes to the team and families at 38, God Bless and thank you! We will find a way, and the strength, to endure."

Schilling's company is not affiliated with ESPN.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee had said he expected the company to submit the payment, which was due May 1. The state "remains willing to accept readily available funds," according to a statement from Chafee.

The company relocated from Massachusetts in 2010 after Rhode Island offered a $75 million loan guarantee that state officials said would means new jobs and tax revenue.

38 Studios on Wednesday asked for additional state assistance after missing the payment. The agency's board did not act on the request.

Chafee would not describe the details of the request after an emergency board meeting Wednesday. But he said Thursday that the board agreed "unanimously" not to give the company additional taxpayer support.

Keith Stokes, who was the agency's executive director when the loan guarantee was approved in 2010, submitted his resignation on Wednesday. Stokes, a holdover from the administration of former Gov. Donald Carcieri, said Thursday he had been considering stepping aside for a while.

At the time the loan guarantee for 38 Studios was approved, Stokes called it a calculated risk "well worth taking." He said the agency's board performed months of due diligence in analyzing the video game sector and 38 Studios and crafted an agreement that went "to great lengths to safeguard taxpayers and ensure economic performance."

Asked Thursday if 38 Studios played a role in his decision to resign, Stokes quoted novelist William Faulkner, saying "all of us fail to match our dreams of perfection."

Carcieri has not returned a message left for comment and no one answered the door at his North Kingstown home on Thursday, the AP reported.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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