FBI agents arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder this morning, along with former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges, Householder adviser Jeffrey Longstreth, and lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes in connection with a $60 million bribery scheme.
Householder made headlines last year in June:
House Speaker Larry Householder denounces planned ‘drag queen’ events at Ohio libraries
The federal complaint describes a years-long bribery campaign to build support for Householder’s bid to become House Speaker and then pass the nuclear bailout law with his help. Householder won the Speakership in January 2019, and the bailout passed in July 2019. It went into effect in October.
Federal prosecutors say that an unnamed company — but which would appear to be nuclear power company FirstEnergy Solutions — paid Householder’s Generation Now more than $2.9 million in 2017 and 2018.
“Make no mistake, this is Larry Householder’s 501 (c)(4),” U.S. Attorney David DeVillers told reporters on Tuesday. The money from the scheme was spent to the detriment of other political candidates and the people of Ohio, DeVillers said.
COLUMBUS — The Ohio Speaker of the House was arrested Tuesday and charged in a federal racketeering conspiracy involving about $60 million paid to a social welfare organization to pass and uphold a billion-dollar nuclear plan bailout, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Larry Householder, 61, of Glenford, Ohio, is accused of conspiring to violate the racketeering statue through honest services wire fraud, receipt of millions of dollars in bribes and money laundering. U.S. Attorney David DeVillers said Householder personally benefited from more than $400,000, including money used to pay off a lawsuit, pay for a home in Florida and credit card debt.
Householder ran for office in 2018, saying: “I’m a Pro-Gun, Pro-Life, Christian Conservative with the highest NRA rating in Ohio’s history.”
The defendants face 20 years in prison.