Just hours after Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder was arrested by federal officials in a $60 million dollar bribery case, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is calling on his fellow Republican to resign.
"I am deeply concerned about the allegations of wrongdoing in the criminal complaint issued today by the U.S. Attorney's oOffice. 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."
Householder, former Ohio Republican Party chair Matt Borges, Householder's longtime campaign advisor Jeffery Longstreth and lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes were arrested this morning and charged in an alleged racketeering conspiracy involving the state's $1 billion nuclear plant bailout and Householder's efforts to secure the Speaker's position.
The 82-page criminal complaint unsealed today is the result of a two-year investigation into bribes and money laundering by the FBI.
U.S. Attorney Dave DeVillers called the case "the largest bribery, money-laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of Ohio."
Other Republican officials echoed DeWine's call for Householder's resignation. Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who served as Speaker from 2005-2009 said that in the midst of a pandemic and economic struggle, "the integrity of the office and the institution must be restored".
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was charactoristically blunt: "Larry Householder sold out the people of Ohio in exchange for power and dirty money. The 81-page sworn affadavit filed today shows plainly he cannot be trusted to act in the public interest, or trusted with public authority."
While many Republican legislators issued similar statements, the House leadership team was more cautious, saying they were shocked by the charges and reviewing the allegations, but declined to comment on a pending investigation.