Keith Stokes resigns as R.I. economic development director

Keith Stokes, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, has resigned in the middle of controversy over a $75 million loan guarantee gave to 38 Studios, a video game company owned by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

The company moved to Rhode Island from Massachusetts in 2010 after the state offered the financing, claiming the deal would create 450 jobs and increase tax revenue.

The video game studio has defaulted on payments to the state, failing to pay a $1.1 million on May 1. The board of the economic development agency and Governor Lincoln Chafee held an emergency meeting Wednesday morning with Schilling and other employees from the company regarding the situation.

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Representatives did not say when the company planned to pay the past due payment. They asked an undisclosed sum of additional funds from the state.

Chafee released a statement today accepting Stokes’s resignation.

“I thank Keith for his service to Rhode Island,” the statement read, “and I am confident that he will continue to be very involved in the state he loves.”

A successor for Stokes has not yet been named.

Stokes was originally appointed as executive director by former governor Donald Carcieri, who favored the deal with Schilling’s company.

On Wednesday, the board took no action regarding 38 Studios. The board meets again Monday.