PROVIDENCE — Auditors for Rhode Island tried unsuccessfully for days to examine the financial records of former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s video gaming company as it teetered on the edge of bankruptcy, documents show.
E-mails obtained under a public records request show that David Gilden, an attorney for the state Economic Development Corporation, made a series of frustrated attempts in May to get its auditors access to 38 Studios’ general ledger, e-mail, and file servers.
Schilling’s firm — it was lured to Rhode Island from Massachusetts in 2010 with a $75 million loan guarantee approved by the development agency’s board — laid off its entire staff May 24. Earlier in the month, 38 Studios’ board had approved filing for bankruptcy protection.
As the company’s troubles spilled into public view, Governor Lincoln Chafee accused 38 Studios of stonewalling, even as the firm sought frantically to secure state film tax credits that it apparently hoped to sell to raise money to stay afloat.
‘‘It was so hard to get information from them,’’ Chafee said this week. ‘‘Nothing was forthcoming. There were so many mixed messages. Everything kept changing.’’
Chafee was a vocal opponent of the loan guarantee on the campaign trail in 2010, but said he became the company’s biggest cheerleader once the deal was done.
Schilling has accused the governor of having an agenda and making comments that contributed to his company’s demise, even though the 38 Studios board had taken the first step toward bankruptcy by the time Chafee said anything publicly about the company’s troubles.
38 Studios filed for bankruptcy protection June 7. The company and an affiliate, 38 Studios Baltimore, together owe creditors about $272 million and had combined assets of about $22 million, according to court records. Rhode Island is by far the largest creditor.
A series of e-mails flew back and forth between Gilden and top 38 Studios officials as Deloitte tried to begin the audit, which he said was provided for under the loan agreement. Gilden requested on May 25 that the auditors be allowed access that day or the next.
Gilden wrote to chief operating officer William Thomas and director Thomas Zaccagnino on May 26, saying he had not heard back about access.
On May 29, after several other e-mails, Gilden again wrote to Thomas and Zaccagnino, saying the auditors were standing by. Thomas replied that he wanted more specifics on what they wished to access.
On May 30, Gilden outlined what the state wanted and reiterated that auditors were prepared to begin their work that morning.
Thomas replied that the company was trying to secure funds for the audit — the 2010 financing deal required 38 Studios to pay for it — and was seeking an opinion from its legal counsel.
The next day, Gilden laid down a deadline.
‘‘Another day’s delay, notwithstanding your staffing issues, will in our view constitute a denial of our right to audit, particularly when our auditors can make a copy of the general ledger in a matter of hours and continue their work off site,’’ Gilden said.
Judy Chong, a development corporation spokeswoman, did not comment on when auditors got access.