The public may see transcripts from the secret grand jury that investigated Providence’s “The Station” nightclub fire, says a judge’s ruling reported by the Providence Journal. It is believed to be only the second time a Rhode Island court has allowed the wholesale public release of grand jury testimony. The first was the case of Sgt. Cornel Young Jr., an off-duty Providence police officer shot by fellow officers in 2000.
Judge Joseph Rodgers cited the “unique circumstances” of the case in granting Attorney General Patrick Lynch’s petition to disclose the testimony. Rodgers said he would not expand the scope of the petition beyond the transcripts. He denied requests by defense lawyers to include exhibits presented to the grand jury, as well as other evidence gathered by the attorney general not shown to the panel. The material may not be made public until late January so that prosecutors can redact personal information from witnesses, Lynch said.