Author

Jake Zuckerman

Jake Zuckerman

Jake Zuckerman is a statehouse reporter. He spent three years chronicling the West Virginia Legislature for The Charleston Gazette-Mail after covering cops and courts for The Northern Virginia Daily.

Former DeWine aide warned governor about utility regulator before the FBI raided his home

By: - April 4, 2022

More than two years before FirstEnergy Corp. admitted to paying Ohio’s top utility regulator a $4.3 million bribe, Mike DeWine’s former campaign treasurer warned senior aides to the new governor about the eventual nominee’s “opaque and undisclosed” financial ties to the company. The warning came in a 198-page dossier alleging Sam Randazzo — a lawyer […]

Ohio could soon pass bill to deregulate development of ephemeral water streams

By: - April 1, 2022

The Ohio legislature could soon pass a bill deregulating the development of “ephemeral streams” — natural flows of water that form after rain and snowmelt. Ohio has an estimated 115,000 miles of primary headwater streams, according to legislative testimony from Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Laurie Stevenson, referring to the brooks and ravines that are […]

Should courts limit jury awards for child rape victims? Supreme Court weighs arguments

By: - March 31, 2022

Lawyers for a woman who was repeatedly raped and sexually abused as a child argued Wednesday the Ohio Supreme Court should overturn or at least pare down a law that limits millions in damages a jury awarded her. In 2005, Ohio lawmakers passed a “tort reform” law that among other provisions, sets a limit of […]

Ohio House passes bill aimed to lower patient costs on expensive prescriptions

By: - March 31, 2022

The Ohio House unanimously passed legislation Wednesday that blocks health insurers from a comparatively stingier accounting practice that requires patients to pay more out of pocket to meet their deductible. To buy expensive drugs, some patients use third parties like charities or manufacturer coupons until they hit their deductibles, at which point insurers pick up […]

Democrats go after DeWine in gubernatorial debate

By: - March 30, 2022

Two former mayors seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination shared the debate stage Tuesday, talking political corruption, energy policy, gun violence and more. Rather than spar with one another, former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley trained their words on incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine. Through an hour of back and forth, the […]

Senate Democratic hopefuls face off in debate over Ukraine, Supreme Court

By: - March 29, 2022

Three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate talked Ukraine, Supreme Court, energy policy and other issues in their first debate Monday. Rep. Tim Ryan, a current congressman and likely front-runner, fended off attacks throughout the debate from Morgan Harper, a progressive lawyer formerly with the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Traci “TJ” Johnson, […]

FirstEnergy’s CEO and SVP ordered $64 million bribery scheme, shareholders say

By: - March 24, 2022

FirstEnergy’s CEO and senior vice president “devised and orchestrated” a $64 million bribery scheme to pay a top legislative leader and utility regulator in exchange for official action, according to a sworn declaration Wednesday from shareholders’ lawyers who are suing the company. While CEO Charles “Chuck” Jones and senior vice president for external affairs Michael […]

‘Ohio is strong.’ DeWine emphasizes mental health, avoids controversy at State of the State

By: - March 24, 2022

After two years of being wracked by a deadly pandemic and nationwide political turbulence, GOP Gov. Mike DeWine delivered a “State of the State” address aimed to force a political system to steadier times. Addressing the legislature, justices on the Supreme Court, ranking state officials, and the state at large, DeWine avoided heated political issues […]

Judge gives lawyers 24 hours to identify FirstEnergy execs who ordered political bribes

By: - March 22, 2022

Further scuttling a proposed settlement for FirstEnergy’s shareholders, a federal judge demanded their lawyers, within 24 hours, answer his question about which company officials ordered what has been described as the largest political bribery scheme in Ohio history. Both FirstEnergy and its shareholders were on the cusp of a settling the shareholders’ derivative lawsuit, announcing […]

House GOP leader on Supreme Court impeachment: ‘All options are on the table’

By: and - March 18, 2022

A ranking House Republican left open the possibility of impeaching the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, which this week rejected Republicans’ third proposed legislative redistricting map.  During a private GOP caucus phone call Thursday, House Majority Leader Bill Seitz and Rep. Jon Cross voiced support for impeaching Justice Maureen O’Connor, according to a […]

Both FirstEnergy and its shareholders seek secrecy around company’s bribes

By: - March 18, 2022

Both FirstEnergy Corp. and its shareholders argued to a federal judge that they shouldn’t be forced to publicly disclose which executives ordered the payment of political bribes that the company admitted to in a related criminal case. The two parties are awaiting judicial approval of a proposed settlement from a derivative lawsuit filed by FirstEnergy’s shareholders. […]

Mysterious nonprofit with AEP ties has $3 million to unload, tax records show

By: - March 17, 2022

Under shadow of a public corruption probe centered on the utility industry and its use of untraceable political spending, a nonprofit with close ties to American Electric Power disclosed harboring $3 million in the bank that it could unload as statewide elections loom. Open Road Path — a nonprofit run by a lawyer and lobbyist […]