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Politics

Householder requests judge dismiss federal racketeering charge

Andy Chow
/

Larry Householder, former Ohio House speaker, says the federal corruption case against him is insufficient, but that runs counter to other parties that have already pleaded guilty.

Householder is accused of operating a 501(c)4 using bribe money from FirstEnergy in return for bailing out the company's nuclear plants.

Householder's attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the indictment against their client saying federal agents failed to prove an "explicit quid pro quo agreement" between Householder and FirstEnergy.

"In doing so, it settles for legal conclusions — not facts. And it hangs its hat on salacious allegations of bribery against the former Speaker of the Ohio House based on political contributions that a corporation made to an issue advocacy group, Generation Now," attorney Steven Bradley wrote in the court filing.

The court filing echoes statements Householder made on the Ohio House floor in June 2021 when fighting against a motion to expel him as a member.

"I have not nor have I ever sold legislation, never, ever," said Householder.

But FirstEnergy has already signed a sworn statement admitting to bribing Householder in exchange for specific action benefiting the utility.

FirstEnergy agreed to a statement of facts in last year's deferred prosecution, which included "FirstEnergy Corp., through the acts of its officers, employees, and agents, conspired with public officials and other individuals and entities to pay millions of dollars to and for the benefit of public officials in exchange for specific official action for FirstEnergy Corp.’s benefit."

A trial date for Householder and former FirstEnergy lobbyist Matt Borges is expected to be set by the end of this month.
Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.