Attorney general expands FirstEnergy lawsuit

Staff Writer

Attorney General Dave Yost announced he has expanded his racketeering lawsuit in the FirstEnergy/Larry Householder scandal to include new defendants and additional allegations based on recent filings by the U.S. Department of Justice in its criminal case.
The new filing adds as defendants:
- Charles Jones, the recently fired chief executive officer of FirstEnergy
- Michael Dowling, also fired senior vice president for FirstEnergy
- Sam Randazzo, the former chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Ohio, along with several entities associated with Randazzo.
The lawsuit also seeks recovery from Randazzo of a $4.3 million payment that FirstEnergy admitted it paid to him to help pass House Bill 6 while he was serving as FirstEnergy's regulator.
Yost said it’s become clear that Jones, Dowling and Randazzo were significant players in what one of the participants labeled “an unholy alliance.”
The amended lawsuit adds allegations that Randazzo and the FirstEnergy executives engaged in extortion, money laundering, coercion, intimidation and an attempted cover-up.
"This is the justice system working, holding bad actors accountable," Yost said. “To restore public trust, everyone involved in this sordid matter needs to pay a price. The goal is to leave no doubt – among politicians, the powerful and the rich – that engaging in public corruption will ruin you."
Yost said his lawsuit has already recovered more than $1 billion by blocking the nuclear plant subsidy and the "decoupling" provisions in HB 6 that boosted FirstEnergy profits.
His suit contends that beginning in January 2017, the officials from FirstEnergy and former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder used their positions to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity. Randazzo joined the conspiracy shortly before being appointed to lead the PUCO in 2019.
The amended complaint includes three civil claims:
-Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity
- Civil damages for criminal acts
- Damages for reputable harm
The lawsuit asks the court to order significant reforms or the dissolution of any companies or organizations involved in this scandal and issue an eight-year ban on lobbying or holding public office for those involved, and asks that Householder and Randazzo forfeit their public salaries during the time of the enterprise, since they were not working for the public.


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