Public Corruption

Columbia Gas poised to get big rate increase

BY: - November 17, 2022

Amid high consumer inflation and spiking energy costs, Columbia Gas of Ohio could start charging each Ohio customer much more in fixed costs. And, while outside advocacy groups are opposing the move, it would be doing so with the support of the state’s official consumer representative. A “stipulation” that is now before the Public Utilities […]

Newest federal regulator wants the little guy to be the focus of antitrust enforcement

BY: - November 14, 2022

From groceries to prescriptions to paychecks, the modern American business landscape makes it increasingly difficult for poorer Americans to get what they need to survive, Alvaro Bedoya, the newest member of the Federal Trade Commission, said in an interview late last month. The consequences have taken the form of food and pharmacy "deserts" and in a paucity of jobs that pay a living wage. "I want to focus on the folks at the bottom of the ladder and are trying to move up and not fall off," he said.

Householder attorneys object to allowing First Energy deferred prosecution agreement at trial

BY: - November 14, 2022

Attorneys for former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder have objected to allowing First Energy’s deferred prosecution agreement from being introduced as evidence in his upcoming felony racketeering trial. In what the federal prosecutors have called the biggest bribery scandal in state history, Householder and four others were arrested in the summer of 2020. Facing racketeering, money […]

Tax-funded care provider in Ohio makes political donations — in Nevada

BY: - November 7, 2022

Medicaid managed-care provider Centene has already gotten in trouble in Ohio. Then on Friday came the news that its tax-funded Ohio subsidiary has been making political contributions 2,200 miles away in Nevada. Kaiser Health News reported that Centene’s Buckeye Health Plan and many other of its state-level Medicaid subsidiaries have each made $10,000 donations to […]

Health care giant confirms $15M settlement — two days after denying it

BY: - October 31, 2022

A prescription middleman on Friday confirmed that it has promised to pay Ohio $15 million to settle fraud claims against it. When the state announced the deal two days earlier, the company denied it had been finalized. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on Wednesday announced that pharmacy benefit manager OptumRx had agreed to pay $15 […]

Eye on Utilities: Will HB 6 impact the 2022 election?

BY: - October 28, 2022

This update on Ohio’s ongoing utility corruption scandal and is a joint project of Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism, and the nonprofit Energy News Network. It was originally published by Energy News Network. Concerns about corruption factor into multiple races as early voting is underway in Ohio. Other developments in the […]

Pharmacy middleman agrees to pay Ohio Workers’ Comp $15M, attorney general says

BY: - October 27, 2022

OptumRx, a huge pharmacy middleman, has agreed to pay the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation $15 million to settle claims that it overbilled the system between 2015 and 2018, Attorney General Dave Yost announced Tuesday.

Householder defense in racketeering trial previewed in fight over campaign finance experts

BY: - October 21, 2022

A fight over expert testimony in the felony racketeering trial of former Republican Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder offers a window into the ex-legislative leader’s defense strategy over his alleged role in the $1.3 billion First Energy bailout, political bribery scandal. U.S. attorneys filed a response this week the U.S. Southern District of Ohio court […]

As Ohio regulators sit on coal plant subsidy cases, costs could rack up for ratepayers

BY: - October 17, 2022

Although Ohio regulators have paused four FirstEnergy cases dealing with House Bill 6, they could still take action in cases dealing with the two 1950s-era coal plants that were subsidized by the law at the heart of Ohio’s ongoing corruption scandal. Yet the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has made no rulings in those cases […]

U.S. Supreme Court to consider case that could radically reshape the country’s elections

BY: - October 17, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court could soon grant state legislatures unconditional control over federal elections, clearing the way for lawmakers to gerrymander their states with impunity and pass voter restriction measures without interference from state courts. The high-stakes election case, Moore v. Harper, comes out of North Carolina after its Republican-controlled legislature passed in November 2021 a gerrymandered […]

Ohio utilities ranked among the worst on fossil fuel use

BY: - October 6, 2022

Three Ohio electricity companies are among the worst in the United States when it comes to weaning themselves off of fossil fuels, according to a major Sierra Club report released this week. And it’s possible that a culprit is huge coal subsidies passed as part of one of the biggest bribery scandals in state history. […]

FirstEnergy fights to keep records tied to bribery scheme from the public

BY: - October 5, 2022

Akron-based utility FirstEnergy Corp., which has admitted to spending tens of millions bribing top government officials, asked state regulators to shield documents about its bribes from release to the public. The company’s request will soon be decided by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, whose former chairman Sam Randazzo allegedly accepted a $4.3 million bribe […]