Public Corruption

Six months after claiming massive fraud, Ohio awards contract worth billions to health giant

BY: - August 17, 2021

Ohio is again in business with a company that only recently it was accusing of massive fraud. The state’s leaders seem  reluctant to explain why. Two months ago, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced that Centene, the largest Medicaid managed-care provider in the United States, would pay Ohio $88.3 million to settle a lawsuit claiming […]

After scandal broke, FirstEnergy lobbyist pushed DeWine on “covid response”

BY: - August 16, 2021

On Sept. 23, 2020, McKenzie K. Davis, a lobbyist with the Success Group, registered to lobby the administration of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on “covid response.” The timing is curious because only six weeks earlier, federal authorities announced they’d arrested then-Speaker Larry Householder and four associates in what they said was  “likely the largest bribery […]

Ohio governor won’t say he regrets picking regulator now at the center of historic utility scandal

BY: - August 12, 2021

A huge Ohio utility paid Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s pick to be the state’s top utility regulator millions and the regulator, Sam Randazzo, proceeded to do favors for the utility that were worth at least hundreds of millions, the utility and federal prosecutors have said. But more than a year into one of the biggest […]

Environmental groups tried to warn DeWine not to appoint regulator accused in scandal

BY: - August 10, 2021

Late last year, as his administration was plunging deeper into a scandal over a nuclear bailout, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he supported keeping the billion-dollar ratepayer subsidy even though the original deal creating it was part of a $61 million bribery and money-laundering scheme. The governor said he supported scrapping the law creating the […]

Medicaid provider’s profits surge just after it announces massive settlement 

BY: - August 9, 2021

The business of administering the government health program for the poor continues to be very, very good for Centene — even after it announced it would pay states more than $1 billion to settle claims that the St. Louis-based company had defrauded them. In addition, its leader says he confident that his company will resume […]

Amid corruption scandal, energy money continues to flow to state lawmakers

BY: - August 5, 2021

It’s going to take more than a bribery scandal on a historic scale to get energy money out of Ohio politics. Campaign finance reports, submitted late last week, show the campaign contribution pipeline from the natural gas and utility industries to Ohio lawmakers’ campaign accounts is alive and well. The vast majority went to Republicans, […]

Ohio Democrats focusing HB 6 scandal attention on Gov. DeWine

BY: - July 30, 2021

In the year after the House Bill 6 scandal first broke in July 2020, much of the focus was on state Rep. Larry Householder. Householder has since been booted from the legislature and awaits trial. Attention is shifting further toward Gov. Mike DeWine as the investigation continues to develop.  The governor has not been accused […]

FirstEnergy said it bribed a regulator for $4.3 million. Here’s how it worked.

BY: - July 29, 2021

FirstEnergy admitted in court documents last week it paid the state’s top utility regulator $4.3 million to use his perch to save the company hundreds of millions via friendly administrative rulings. The company’s allegation against Sam Randazzo, former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, came in a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. […]

DeWine reaffirms support for aides, despite their roles in scandal-tainted legislation

BY: - July 28, 2021

One staffer waited weeks — and until after an FBI raid — to inform Gov. Mike DeWine that FirstEnergy had paid Sam Randazzo a massive sum just weeks before DeWine nominated Randazzo to be Ohio’s top utility regulator. Another staffer, while still a FirstEnergy lobbyist, founded a dark-money group that would funnel tens of millions […]

DeWine says he didn’t know about alleged $4.3m bribe of utility regulator he appointed

BY: - July 27, 2021

Gov. Mike DeWine distanced himself Monday from a utility regulator he appointed who was accused last week of accepting millions in bribes from FirstEnergy Corp. FirstEnergy said in a court filing last week that it paid Sam Randazzo $22 million in consulting fees in the decade leading up to his appointment as chairman of the […]

FirstEnergy paid $4.3 mil to top energy regulator and reaped the benefits, court docs state

BY: - July 23, 2021

An energy lobbyist who Gov. Mike DeWine appointed as the state’s top regulator of public utilities received $22 million from FirstEnergy Corp. in the decade before his appointment — including $4.3 million paid just before assuming the post and specifically to execute official duties to benefit the Akron-based utility — court documents revealed Thursday. Sam […]

FirstEnergy admits it controlled dark money group started by DeWine aide

BY: - July 23, 2021

The mammoth scandal surrounding a 2019 energy bailout appeared to creep closer on Thursday to the administration of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. FirstEnergy said in a deferred prosecution agreement that the man DeWine appointed to lead the Public Utility Commission of Ohio took a $4.3 million payment and then acted on behalf of the Akron-based […]