Regulatory capture: Bribery indictment indicates takeover at Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

BY: - December 6, 2023

Things were already pretty industry-friendly at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio when Sam Randazzo took the reins of the regulator in February 2019. For example, it had granted more than $1 billion in non-refundable electric rate increases that were later declared illegal by the Ohio Supreme Court. But according to an indictment that was […]

Coal company got big payback from HB 6

BY: - November 17, 2023

A coal company got roughly $12.6 million above market prices to supply one of the 1950s-era plants subsidized by Ohio House Bill 6. That’s roughly 50 times the amount the company gave to the dark money group at the center of that coal and nuclear bailout law, according to a new analysis from the Checks […]

Another judge hammers former Ohio utility regulator Randazzo in FirstEnergy case

BY: - November 15, 2023

Sam Randazzo, Gov. Mike DeWine’s first pick to chair the state’s utility regulator, isn’t even a party to a civil suit over a massive bribery scheme. Even so, judges keep admonishing Randazzo over what they say is his lack of cooperation. A group of pension funds and other big investors are suing Akron-based FirstEnergy over […]

FirstEnergy seeks $1.4 billion more from Ohio ratepayers. Watchdog objects

BY: - November 7, 2023

Even as its former top executives await possible criminal charges for gouging ratepayers, Akron-based FirstEnergy is seeking a $1.4 billion rate increase. The state’s consumer watchdog objects, saying the company’s profits are higher than normal and that it should use a more thorough process to prove that it really needs the money. The electric utility […]

Multiple signs that federal corruption investigation might be heating up — again

BY: - August 14, 2023

After two former Republican officials in June were sentenced for their roles in a massive racketeering conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker said the investigation was continuing. At least two signs emerged last week that the proceedings might be intensifying. Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on June […]

Mugshots of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, and former Ohio Republican Party chair and lobbyist Matt Borges.

After Householder and Borges sentences, what — or who — comes next?

BY: - July 11, 2023

U.S. District Judge Timothy Black sentenced former Ohio House speaker Larry Householder to 20 years in federal prison and gave lobbyist Matt Borges a five-year sentence for their roles in Ohio’s House Bill 6 corruption scandal. Here’s what to expect next, plus an update on other developments: Appeals by Householder and Borges will likely raise […]


Householder goes to prison, but special interest corruption continues as usual in Ohio politics

BY: - July 5, 2023

Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder is a federal prisoner. That should give all the others in state government with their hands in the cookie jar pause, right? A once all-powerful Statehouse boss faces 20 years behind bars for orchestrating the biggest public corruption scandal in Ohio’s history. That’s deterrence enough for Householder’s political colleagues […]

Power companies quietly pushed $215 million into U.S. politics via dark money groups

BY: - June 16, 2023

This story was produced through collaboration between Floodlight and The Guardian. U.S. power companies have made political donations of at least $215 million to dark money groups in recent years, according to a new analysis of 25 for-profit utilities, amid growing concerns around how they wield influence. Such secretive donations to barely regulated non-profit groups, […]

Manufacturers, consumers blast plan to make ratepayers subsidize charging stations

BY: - April 28, 2023

The number of electric vehicles on U.S. roadways is expected to ramp up dramatically in the coming years, and with it the number of charging stations will have to grow as well. Now groups representing Ohio utility consumers and manufacturers are trying to kill a plan that would force ratepayers to finance the electricity infrastructure […]

Householder and Borges plan to ask judge to reverse guilty verdicts and allow a new trial

BY: - April 18, 2023

This monthly newsletter provides updates 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. Got a question? Story idea? Send tips or comments to [email protected]. Lawyers for former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and lobbyist Matt Borges said they […]

FirstEnergy asks for more time, more money on purchase of coal plant

BY: - April 6, 2023

Akron-based FirstEnergy on Friday blew through a regulator’s deadline for a report — and it told the regulator that it needed to rush through a $36 million annual rate increase in a matter of weeks if it wanted the analysis to go forward. The West Virginia Public Service Commission on Dec. 30 ordered the Ohio […]

Coal plants helped cause bribery scandal. Now FirstEnergy might be buying one back

BY: - March 21, 2023

Akron-based FirstEnergy might be poised to increase its coal-fired generation capacity by 40% with the purchase of a West Virginia plant it owned less than four years ago and spun off as part of a massive racketeering scandal. The reason why the company paid out more than $60 million between 2017 and 2020 to force […]