Ex-Ohio House Speaker Hit With 10 Additional Serious Charges

(UnitedHeadlines.com) – On March 25, former Ohio State House of Representatives speaker Larry Householder, 64, was indicted on 10 new felony charges related to a bribery scheme that gave a $1.3 billion bailout to the Akron-based utility FirstEnergy Corporation.

Householder, who served two separate terms as speaker, is currently serving a 20-year federal prison sentence after being convicted for accepting $60 million in bribes in exchange for passing legislation that bailed out two nuclear power plants that were a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corporation, two solar energy projects, and two coal-fired electric plants.

The new indictment includes charges of ethics violations, misusing campaign funds, theft while in office, telecommunications fraud, money laundering, and tampering with records. If convicted on the new charges, Householder would be barred permanently from holding public office. The new charges allege that Householder paid for his $750,000 in legal fees by illegally using a campaign account. In ethics statements required of members of the state legislature, he also allegedly did not disclose his legal fees, debts, loans, and gifts from lobbyists.

In a statement, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said a conviction on the new charges ensures there are “no more comebacks from the ‘Comeback Kid.’”

The new indictments resulted from the Ohio Organized Crime Commission inquiry that also led to the indictments of former FirstEnergy chief executive officer Chuck Jones and former FirstEnergy senior vice president Michael Dowling. Jones and Dowling were indicted on charges they funneled $4.3 million in bribes to the former Ohio Public Utility Commission chairman Sam Randazzo, who was also indicted. The three men pleaded not guilty to 27 charges.

Due to its involvement in the bribery scheme, FirstEnergy had to pay a $230 million fine.

Householder is appealing his conviction on racketeering charges.

This was not the first time Householder was under investigation. In the early 2000s, he was under investigation for suspicion of public corruption. However, that investigation ended without him being charged.

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