This article was originally published by the Ohio Capital Journal.
Ohio law enforcement authorities on Monday filed numerous felony charges against two former First Energy executives and a former top utility regulator in what has been called the biggest bribery and money-laundering scandal in Ohio history.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced scores of felony charges against a former regulator who also has been charged federally, and against two people who haven’t — former top executives for Akron-based FirstEnergy whom the company admitted paid more than $60 million in bribes between 2016 and 2020 in exchange for a $1.3 billion ratepayer bailout.
Charged were Sam Randazzo, former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission. Already facing felony charges in federal court, the state indictment charges him with 22 more, including grand theft, bribery, and money laundering. The indictment accuses him of taking bribes from FirstEnergy from 2010 until just before he became chairman of the commission in 2019.
Also charged were former FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones and Vice President Michael Dowling. Between them, they face 22 felony charges similar to those faced by Randazzo.
Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder is serving a 20-year prison sentence after a federal jury last year convicted him of his role in passing the corrupt bailout.
The state charges that were announced Monday didn’t deal with much of the activity addressed in the federal case. They instead focused on the relationship between Jones, Dowling and Randazzo between 2010 and early 2019, when they paid him $4.33 million just as he was becoming the state’s top regulator.
This story will be updated.
Keep up on Ohio’s HB 6 scandal
Subscribe to the Energy News Network’s monthly HB 6 Updates newsletter to keep track of the myriad shareholder actions, criminal cases, and regulatory investigations surrounding the HB 6 scandal.