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Both FirstEnergy and its shareholders seek secrecy around company’s bribes

BY: - March 18, 2022

Both FirstEnergy Corp. and its shareholders argued to a federal judge that they shouldn’t be forced to publicly disclose which executives ordered the payment of political bribes that the company admitted to in a related criminal case. The two parties are awaiting judicial approval of a proposed settlement from a derivative lawsuit filed by FirstEnergy’s shareholders. […]

Mysterious nonprofit with AEP ties has $3 million to unload, tax records show

BY: - March 17, 2022

Under shadow of a public corruption probe centered on the utility industry and its use of untraceable political spending, a nonprofit with close ties to American Electric Power disclosed harboring $3 million in the bank that it could unload as statewide elections loom. Open Road Path — a nonprofit run by a lawyer and lobbyist […]

Ohio judge withdraws from probes into nuclear bailout he helped write

BY: - March 7, 2022

A state judge who oversees utility cases withdrew himself Friday from four cases involving legislation now at the center of a criminal public corruption investigation. Greg Price, an attorney examiner with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and chief of the electric and energy section, stepped back from investigations into FirstEnergy Corp. He cited the […]

Ohio House won’t release texts between House Rep and indicted ex-Speaker

BY: - March 2, 2022

Lawyers with the Ohio House of Representatives denied a public records requests for text messages between a sitting lawmaker and the former House Speaker, who was expelled by his peers while under a racketeering indictment related to alleged public corruption. State Rep. Jay Edwards, R-Nelsonville, and Larry Householder regularly exchange text messages and talk on […]

Utility regulators block watchdog’s requests for info about a buried audit of a $460 million fund

BY: - February 21, 2022

An administrative judge blocked a watchdog’s attempt to obtain an audit that the Ohio utility regulatory agency’s former chairman, who has been accused of taking a $4.3 million bribe, allegedly tried to squash before publication. The ruling, released Friday evening, is a setback for the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, a state funded agency representing residential ratepayers […]

FirstEnergy pushed for ‘cooperative’ utility regulator; DeWine heeded its pick

BY: - February 16, 2022

FirstEnergy executives and two powerful politicians who the company admitted to bribing all unified behind renominating a “very cooperative” incumbent to serve on a key regulatory panel, the company stated in court filings. The filing doesn’t identify the commissioner, but only refers to an “incumbent” and then-current “PUCO official.” Commissioner Lawrence K. Friedeman was the […]

Ohio utility regulator lobbied for legislation to save FirstEnergy millions, texts show

BY: - November 9, 2021

Ohio’s top utility regulator quietly lobbied lawmakers to include a provision in the state budget that saved tens of millions for FirstEnergy Corp., text messages from company executives show. FirstEnergy admitted in federal court earlier this year that it funded $60 million to a political nonprofit that wasn’t required to disclose its donors, secretly controlled […]

New pandemic law takes effect; experts say it undermines public health

BY: - June 23, 2021

As of Wednesday, there are 132 new sheriffs in town. When the new coronavirus emerged in Ohio, state law conferred “ultimate authority in matters of quarantine and isolation” to the Ohio Department of Health. It was the ODH director, and the governor who appointed her, who called the shots. The paradigm shifted Wednesday via the […]

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 […]

Ohio prisons to pay $1000 to inmate after withholding COVID-19 info, supreme court rules

BY: - April 29, 2021

The state prison authority must pay an inmate $1,000 after gumming up and rejecting his request for information on coronavirus infections among staff and employees at a Toledo prison, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled. In an unsigned opinion Tuesday, the justices ruled 4-3 that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections failed to satisfy Toledo […]

Former equity chief accused Ohio Department of Health of ‘toxic’ and ‘discriminatory’ culture

BY: - April 23, 2021

After a drawn-out drafting process, the Ohio Department of Health’s top spokeswoman agreed to stamp ODH’s name on a statement with the Ohio NAACP and Commission on Minority Health correcting a myth that racial minorities are less susceptible to COVID-19. However, communications director Arundi Venkayya clarified in an April 1, 2020 email that ODH would […]

Nursing home assn. gave $135k to dark money group tied to Householder bribery case

BY: - March 22, 2021

An entity representing Ohio’s nursing home industry contributed at least $135,000 to a political dark money group that has pleaded guilty to its role in an alleged racketeering scheme involving former House Speaker Larry Householder. The nonprofit 501(c)(4) entity, 55 Green Meadows, is affiliated with the Ohio Health Care Association — both groups share an […]