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Householder Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Racketeering Charge

Sep 3, 2020

Republican former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder talks with reporters following his indictment
Credit Ohio Public Radio

Republican former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder has pleaded not guilty to a federal charge of racketeering.

Householder is accused of taking part in a bribery scheme in exchange for passing a nuclear power plant bailout law. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

Householder, who is still a member of the Ohio House, appeared in court after several weeks of delay in order to find a new lawyer. 

He entered his plea of not guilty, which he told reporters he would do just days ago during a surprise gaggle on the House floor. 

"I am innocent, I am going to defend myself vigorously," Householder said on Tuesday.  

A utility believed to be FirstEnergy and its subsidiary is accused of pumping millions of dollars into a dark money group. Investigators say Householder used that money for his own personal and political gain. 

All the defendants in the case have pleaded not guilty.