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Rawson says the full Station story won't be told

Joel Rawson, executive editor of the Providence Journal, recently offered his view that the full details of the February 2003 Station fire disaster in West Warwick will never be told. Brian C. Jones has the details.

As Brian notes, it's a stunning declaration:

Rawson’s comments came during a session sponsored by Access/Rhode Island, an open-government coalition, and URI’s journalism department. It was a striking assessment, given that Rawson led a journalistic inquiry unprecedented in Rhode Island. The ProJo assigned more than 60 reporters to interview Station survivors, designed computer models, commissioned laboratory tests and wrote hundreds of stories, with its database now showing 1830 items with the words “Station nightclub.”
 
The Phoenix sought comment from Governor Carcieri, House Speaker William J. Murphy (who represents West Warwick, the site of the fire), Senate President Joseph A. Montalbano, and Lynch. Only the attorney general responded — and frostily.
 
A trial focused on specific criminal charges might not have answered all questions, says Lynch, who adds that since civil cases are pending, some witnesses might resist an out-of-court forum. Still, 13,000 pages of grand jury documents are public, Lynch says, and the federal government sponsored two reports, on fire safety and the state’s emergency response to the blaze. “The ‘public forum’ that Mr. Rawson is proposing — would it be an inquest?” Lynch asks. “Who would conduct it? Who would have the legal authority to conduct it?”

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