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Another Plea Deal In Householder/Nuclear Bailout Corruption Case

Feb 5, 2021

Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford) talked to reporters on September 1, 2020, after returning to the House for the first time since his July arrest in a $61 million bribery scheme.
Credit Karen Kasler

There’s another plea deal in the federal corruption case involving Republican former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, the former chair of the Ohio Republican Party and a utility widely believed to be Akron-based FirstEnergy.

That case has been called the largest bribery scandal in state history. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports

The dark money nonprofit or 501(c)4 group Generation Now has pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge, admitting it was used to funnel tens of millions of dollars in bribes from the utility to Householder.

Federal prosecutor David Devillers explained last summer the money helped Householder become speaker and pass the law that would authorize more than a billion dollars in subsidies for two nuclear plants formerly owned by FirstEnergy.

“The codefendants in this case along with Larry Householder are all political advisers, lobbyists who all worked in different capacities. But make no mistake, this is Larry Householder’s 501(c)4," DeVillers said at that July press conference outlining the $61 million alleged bribery scheme.

Householder adviser Jeff Longstreth and lobbyist Juan Cespedes pleaded guilty to racketeering charges last year.

Householder, who was re-elected last fall, has said he’s innocent. So have former Ohio Republican Party Chair Matt Borges and lobbyist Neil Clark.

Householder remains a member of the House, though Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) has suggested the Republican caucus could expel him. But there have been no moves by majority Republicans to do that, and Householder was at House session this week.