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FirstEnergy collected $460 million from customers; auditor unsure if it was spent on bribes

BY: - January 18, 2022

There’s no clear evidence to show the $460 million FirstEnergy Corp. charged its customers went to its stated purpose of modernizing the electric grid, a state-commissioned audit found. After three years of FirstEnergy collecting hundreds of millions via the “Distribution Modernization Rider,” a 2019 Ohio Supreme Court ruling blocked the company from continuing to apply […]

Ohioans spent $211 million subsidizing two coal plants over last two years

BY: - January 12, 2022

Electric customers across Ohio collectively spent an estimated $211 million via add-on bill charges over the last two years to cover for losses from two coal-fired power plants that continue to bleed millions annually, according to new data from state regulators. The money to the Ohio Valley Electric Corp. (OVEC) — an entity comprised of […]

Dark money group with Mandel ties named in subpoena in FirstEnergy bribery lawsuit

BY: - December 13, 2021

A former FirstEnergy executive, defending himself in a shareholders’ lawsuit stemming from his alleged role in the company’s statehouse bribery operation, has subpoenaed correspondence with two political operatives with close ties to U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel. Attorneys for Mike Dowling, former senior vice president of external affairs for the utility company, subpoenaed records from […]

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, […]

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 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 […]

Bar machine operators gave $100k to nonprofit that pleaded guilty in statehouse bribery case

BY: - July 22, 2021

A trade association connected to bar machine operators paid $100,000 to a political nonprofit that pleaded guilty to its role in an alleged bribery operation engineered by the former Speaker of the Ohio House, tax records show. The 2019 payment came from the Fair Gaming Coalition of Ohio (FGCO), which has deep ties to the […]

House Republicans pitch $1,000 bonus for cops, EMS, firefighters

BY: - June 3, 2021

Ohio House Republicans announced Wednesday a proposal pay $1,000 bonuses to police, firefighters, and EMS workers. Relief dollars from the American Rescue Plan, President Joe Biden’s signature COVID-19 economic relief package, would pay for the checks. The plan at large would cost about $83 million, the sponsors said. Rep. Craig Riedel, R-Defiance, said at a […]

House leader ducks questions about indicted Republican keeping seat

BY: - May 21, 2021

Five men were charged. Four cases remain open. Three plea deals have been signed. Two alleged conspirators might cooperate with federal prosecutors. But only one man, Rep. Larry Householder, R-Glenford, continues to shape state law and draw a taxpayer funded salary of roughly $62,000, even under shadow of a racketeering indictment described by prosecutors as […]

After bailing out AEP’s plants, lawmakers returned its campaign checks, records show

BY: - May 10, 2021

Records show Ohio state politicians refunded nearly $50,000 in recent months to a political action committee of American Electric Power, a beneficiary of a massive coal-fired power plant bailout via scandal-tainted legislation enacted last year. Nine state senators and two House representatives, all Republican, returned a total of $19,500 in campaign contributions to an AEP […]

Alleged Householder texts about nuclear bailout are MIA, House says

BY: - September 15, 2020

Prosecutors say they have a text message sent from then-House Speaker Larry Householder seeking to pressure a fellow lawmaker to vote for a bill at the center of a criminal pay-to-play scheme — a text that an ally allegedly sought to get deleted.  However, the House of Representatives said Friday in response to a records […]