23 July 2020
The Republican speaker of the Ohio House, Larry Householder, and four associates were arrested Tuesday in a $60 million federal bribery case connected to a bailout out of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants.
Jeffrey Longstreth, Householder’s adviser, Neil Clark, long time Statehouse lobbyist, Matthew Borges, former Ohio Republican Party Chairman, and Juan Cespedes, co-founder of The Oxley Group, a Columbus-based consulting firm were arrested along with Larry Householder.
Householder is the driving force behind the nuclear plants’ $1.3 billion financial rescue. The rescue involved a new fee to every electricity bill in the state and directed over $150 million a year through 2026 to the plants near Cleveland and Toledo.
A criminal complaint filed by the FBI says Generation Now received $60 million from an unidentified company over the past three years. In exchange, Householder and the other defendants worked to pass the nuclear plant bailout and block attempts to overturn it.
The federal complaint unsealed on Tuesday, prosecutors accused him and four others of spinning up a “criminal enterprise” (Generation Now) that collected $60 million in dark money from a struggling energy company.
The company was not named in the complaint, but it appears to be Energy Harbor, an Akron-based power firm previously named FirstEnergy Solutions that owns the two northern Ohio nuclear plants receiving the bailout.
Householder and the others used the money to preserve and expand their political power in Ohio, the complaint said.
The Washington Post reported.