Dan Doyle, who faces a September trial on 18 counts related to the Institute for International Sport, held a news conference Thursday to say he's been unfairly maligned by the media and to assert that he'll be vindicated by his trial.
Doyle's lawyer, Chip Muller, began the discussion by recounting the work of the institute, which was founded in 1986 "to use sport and the arts as mediums to forge meaningful ties on a global scale and to address critical social issues."
Muller said Doyle's "passion for promoting peace attracted support from the highest levels of government," including Colin Powell, Bill Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Shimon Peres, and Elie Wiesel, among others.
The institute came under scrutiny from state investigators in 2012 after officials there were unable to document what happened to a $575,000 grant from the General Assembly. Doyle was indicted on 18 counts in 2013, including forgery and embezzlement. His trial is scheduled to start September 12.
"The charges against Dan are only accusations and yet they have had a devastating impact on Dan and his family," Muller said. "The charges have been professionally devastating, financially devastating and personally devastating to Dan, and his wife, and his children. It is unjust for unsubstantiated charges to have such a terrible impact on a family prior to trial."
Muller called the charges against Doyle "baseless."
Doyle said he is working to make the media's coverage of the case against him into an examination of media ethics, with findings to be determined by a journalism school.
"It would be impossible for me to convey my outrage regarding the manner in which the media has reported on this case since February 5, 2012," he said.
Doyle asked reporters to ask themselves to what extent their reporting on his case was influenced by "outside forces."
He later declined to specify which outside forces he was referring to. Doyle also declined to answer questions related to the charges against him.
Doyle did ask reporters to ask former congressman Patrick Kennedy, who now lives in New Jersey, if he still stands by remarks he made about the institute in the Hartford Courant in a 2012 story.
Doyle vowed to make something positive from what he said has been a very negative experience.
“I can also assure that I will not leave this planet until my name is cleared, as in completely cleared," he said. "And I will not leave this planet until the individuals behind this are held fully accountable and within the law.”
As the Providence Journal has noted, the potential witness list for Doyle's trial includes former House speaker William Murphy, former Senate president Joseph Montalbano, Richard Licht, Robert Weygand, and a number of other prominent names in Rhode Island.