FirstEnergy subpoenaed:Speaker Householder urged to resign

Larry Limpf

State officials were quick to call for the resignation of Larry Householder, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, after he and four others were charged last week in a public corruption and racketeering conspiracy.
Attorney General Dave Yost: "Larry Householder sold out the people of Ohio in exchange for power and dirty money. The 81-page sworn affidavit filed… shows plainly he cannot be trusted to act in the public interest, or trusted with public authority.
"He is entitled to a presumption of innocence regarding the criminality of his acts, but he is entitled to no presumption of continuance in office. He should resign immediately. If he refuses, the House should eject him under Article II, section 6 of the Ohio Constitution."
Governor Mike DeWine: “I am deeply concerned about the allegations of wrongdoing in the criminal complaint issued today by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Every American has the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Because of the nature of these charges, it will be impossible for Speaker Householder to effectively lead the Ohio House of Representatives; therefore, I am calling on Speaker Householder to resign immediately.
“This is a sad day for Ohio."
Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who served as 99th Speaker of the House from 2005-09: “As a former House Speaker, it makes me incredibly sad. With the announcement of … criminal complaints, the Speaker can no longer effectively perform his duties and should resign.
“Ohio is in the midst of a pandemic response and economic downturn, and the institution of the House of Representatives must remain operational, and the integrity of the office and the institution must be restored.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio is alleging Householder, R-Glenford, conspired to violate racketeering statutes through wire fraud, receiving millions of dollars in bribes, and money laundering.
Others arrested and charged are:
-Mathew Borges, of Bexley, a lobbyist who previously served as chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.
-Jeffrey Longstreth, Columbus, a campaign/political strategist for Householder.
-Neil Clark, Columbus, a lobbyist who owns Grant Street Consultants and former budget director of the Ohio Republican Caucus.
-Juan Cespedes, Columbus, a lobbyist.
Generation Now, an entity established as a 501(c)(4) organization, was also charged.
According to the criminal complaint, from March 2017 to March 2020, millions of dollars were paid in exchange for the speaker’s and other’s assistance in passing House Bill 6 and then working to defeat a ballot initiative that, if passed by voters, would have rescinded the legislation. In all, about $60 million was funneled through Generation Now from an “energy company and its affiliates during the relevant period,” the complaint says.
The bill, passed by the legislature last summer and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, establishes the state’s Clean Energy Program but provides subsidies for coal and nuclear plants, drawing criticism from environmentalists and others.
On Tuesday, FirstEnergy Corp. issued a statement it had received subpoenas related to the investigation of HB 6.
“We are reviewing the details of the investigation and we intend to fully cooperate,” the company said.
The federal complaint also states Householder began receiving quarterly payments of $250,000 from the “related-energy companies” in March 2017 into a Generation Now account. He also allegedly received more than $400,000 in personal benefits through payments into Generation Now, including funds to settle a personal lawsuit, pay for costs associated with his residence in Florida and to pay off credit card debt.


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