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Prosecutors Oppose Motion To Dismiss Conspiracy Charges Against Householder

Associated Press
The Ohio House stripped Householder of the speakership in 2020. In June 2021 he became only the second state lawmaker to be expelled by his peers.

Arguments that a racketeering conspiracy charge in a $60 million bribery scheme should be dismissed against former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder are invalid because they apply the wrong legal standards and ignore the substance of the allegations against him, federal prosecutors argued in a motion filed Tuesday.

The motion was in response to one filed earlier this month by Householder’s attorneys, who argued that prosecutors have not provided “essential facts” for an indictment and the alleged bribes were in fact constitutionally protected campaign contributions.

Householder is accused of shepherding the $60 million scheme secretly funded by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. to win legislative approval of a $1 billion bailout of two Ohio nuclear plants. The plants were operated by a wholly-owned FirstEnergy subsidiary when the bailout bill was approved in 2019.

Householder, four associates and a dark money political group were indicted on racketeering charges in July 2020 for their alleged roles in the scheme. Two associates and the dark money group, Generation Now, have since pleaded guilty. Another associate has died since the charges were filed.