Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others were arrested Tuesday in a $60 million federal bribery probe.
According to Fox News, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio are expected to make an announcement regarding a public corruption case involving a “$60 million bribe to state official & associates.”
The FBI sent multiple agents to raid the home of Householder, a Republican, early Tuesday morning.
Householder, who is one of the three most powerful politicians in Ohio, wields enormous influence over how the state spends more than $140 billion and can halt any piece of legislation.
The investigation centers on House Bill 6, the $1 billion-plus ratepayer bailout of two Ohio nuclear power plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions (now Energy Harbor) that Householder helped push through last year with the help of millions in dark money, according to the Toledo Blade.
Also arrested were Householder adviser Jeffrey Longstreth, longtime Statehouse lobbyist Neil Clark, former Ohio Republican Party chairman and consultant Matthew Borges and Juan Cespedes, co-founder of The Oxley Group in Columbus, the person told The Associated Press. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case. A sixth person was also sought, the person said.
FBI agents were at the farm of Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder on Tuesday morning, hours ahead of the government’s planned announcement.
FBI agents were carrying out “law enforcement activity” on Householder’s property in Glenford in southeastern Ohio, FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren said, without providing details. The Perry County Sheriff’s Office also confirmed it was assisting the FBI at Householder’s farm.
"one of the largest public corruption cases in Ohio history" https://t.co/oKECqaF2eb
— Eileen McClory (@Eileen_McClory) July 21, 2020
This is at least the second high-profile arrest of a lawmaker this week.
Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the New York Assembly and arguably one of the most powerful Democrats in the state, is headed to jail for a long time.
Silver was sentenced to 6 and 1/2 years in prison in a federal corruption scheme.
It’s also worth noting that Silver was close with both New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Silver, a Democrat who was in office from 1994 to 2015, was sentenced on Monday to serve 78 months in prison and pay a fine of $1 million after being convicted in a series of corruption schemes.
Judge Valerie Caproni, an Obama appointee, said Silver acted out of greed and deserved to spend time in prison for his wrongdoings, which she called “corruption, pure and simple.”