firstenergy

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 […]

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 […]

FirstEnergy to pay $306 million in refunds in legal settlement

BY: - November 3, 2021

FirstEnergy Corp. has agreed to refund $306 million to customers after the Supreme Court ruled the utility improperly excluded millions in charges from a calculation of whether its profits were “significantly excessive.” The refund traces back to what FirstEnergy called a “distribution modernization rider” (DMR) — about $458 million collected from customers over about 2.5 […]

State regulators made ‘utility-friendly’ edits to audit of coal plant bailout, emails show

BY: - October 4, 2021

Documents show state utility regulators sought edits to draft versions of an audit they commissioned, prompting the removal of declarations that a ratepayer-funded bailout of two uneconomic coal plants was a bad deal for Ohio electric customers. Staff at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which sets customers’ water and electric rates, asked an auditor […]

Energy efficiency bill gets bipartisan push

BY: - September 23, 2021

An Ohio House committee began its work Wednesday on legislation designed to incentivize utility companies to boost the energy efficiency of their customers’ homes. House Bill 389, a bipartisan effort backed by several large Ohio utilities and environmental advocates alike, would restore some components of Ohio’s energy efficiency law, which was gutted by 2019 legislation […]

GOP Ohio senator fought to repeal corrupt law; party leaders drew him out of his district

BY: - September 17, 2021

New lines drawn by state GOP leaders ousted Sen. Mark Romanchuk, a Republican from Richland County, from the district that elected him to his seat in 2020. Since the indictment of the former speaker of the House last summer and subsequent guilty pleas from four alleged co-conspirators, Romanchuk has led the charge among Ohio Republicans […]

Long-time DeWine friend lobbied for corporation accused of fraud

BY: - August 23, 2021

Many Ohioans were scratching their heads earlier this month.  The administration of Gov. Mike DeWine had just restarted a massive contract with Centene Corp. Only six months earlier, Attorney General Dave Yost agreed to accept $88.3 million from the company to settle claims that it had defrauded the state’s Medicaid program of tens of millions […]

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 […]

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. […]