FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones

Analysis: Bribery scandal shows how Ohio politics is polluted with dark money

BY: - March 15, 2023

CINCINNATI — A utility bailout at the center of a massive bribery and money laundering scandal was such bad legislation — and it was pushed in such bad faith — that it’s hard to see how it could have survived without the more than $60 million in bribes that sustained it. And, while FirstEnergy CEO […]

Former Ohio speaker, GOP chair both found guilty of racketeering

BY: - March 10, 2023

CINCINNATI — After more than nine hours of deliberation, a jury on Thursday found former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and state Republican Chairman Matt Borges guilty of felony racketeering charges in connection with a billion-dollar utility bailout that was passed in 2019. Both men face maximum sentences of 20 years in what prosecutors said […]

Deliberations begin in epic corruption trial

BY: - March 9, 2023

CINCINNATI — A jury was sent home Wednesday after about six hours of deliberation in Ohio’s massive public corruption trial.  Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and state Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges are accused of racketeering in a scheme to use more than $60 million in money from Akron-based FirstEnergy to make Householder speaker […]

Defenders claimed corrupt energy bill would save money. Prosecutor smashed that claim, too

BY: - March 6, 2023

Jim Trakas was the Republican nominee for Ohio House District 6, but lost the General Election in 2018. As a consultant, he supported House Bill 6 the following year, but couldn’t vote for it. This story has been updated. CINCINNATI — On the stand in federal court, one witness after another testified that he supported […]

On the stand, former House speaker confronted by prosecutors with inconsistencies

BY: - March 3, 2023

CINCINNATI — From recordings of threats against other lawmakers’ kids, to undisclosed gifts, to nearly $2 million in undisclosed debts, federal prosecutors on Thursday confronted former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder with facts that appeared to refute things he said about himself under oath a day earlier. The cross examination prompted some observers to say […]

Householder denies D.C. dinners, tying donations to legislation

BY: - March 1, 2023

CINCINNATI — Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder on Wednesday claimed that he never promised any legislative action to FirstEnergy in exchange for the tens of millions the company paid into a 501(c)(4) dark money group he controlled. He also denied attending dinners in Washington, D.C., during Donald Trump’s inauguration during which other witnesses said […]

Citing a hazy memory, former rep seems to distance himself from scandal

BY: - February 28, 2023

CINCINNATI — Former state Rep. Nino Vitale on Tuesday testified that he didn’t have much of a memory for — nor was he much interested in — raising money or campaigning for office. At several points, the Republican from Urbana even said he didn’t remember what year he was first elected to the legislature (it […]

Corruption trial witness: Householder called them “loans” but wouldn’t sign documents

BY: - February 22, 2023

CINCINNATI — In Washington, D.C. during Donald Trump’s January 2017 inauguration, then-Ohio Rep. Larry Householder had a dinner meeting with the top executives with Akron-based FirstEnergy. The executives stressed their likely need for a state bailout — and their need for a way to make unlimited, untraceable contributions to Householder’s bid for speaker, Householder’s top […]

From credit cards to pool cleaning, FirstEnergy money benefitted Householder, feds say

BY: - February 10, 2023

CINCINNATI — A $1.3 billion utility bailout might have been titled “Ohio Clean Air Program,” but the utility that received it paid to settle a lawsuit over a failed coal mine owned by Larry Householder, the bailout’s prime mover, a prosecution witness said in federal court on Thursday. Householder is charged with racketeering in what […]

Texts show close consultation between Householder and FirstEnergy execs on utility bailout

BY: - February 2, 2023

A series of text messages displayed in federal court Thursday showed close consultation between executives of an electric utility and a lawmaker after the utility made huge contributions to make him Ohio House speaker. The consultations occurred as the lawmaker and the utility worked furiously to pass a huge bailout favoring the company.

Swanky D.C. dinners between FirstEnergy execs and Householder led to corrupt scheme, prosecutors say

BY: - January 24, 2023

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the FirstEnergy subsidiary that owned coal and nuclear plants in Ohio. It was FirstEnergy Solutions. The story has been updated. CINCINNATI — In late 2016, as Larry Householder was plotting his return to the Ohio House speakership, Akron-based FirstEnergy was drowning in losses from its uncompetitive nuclear […]

DeWine reappoints utility commissioner who didn’t do much to protect FirstEnergy customers

BY: - March 7, 2022

Regulatory reform? DeWine reappoints utility commissioner who didn't do much to protect FirstEnergy customers.