On Tuesday, Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder was one of five men arrested by the FBI in a federal bribery case.
You can read the full 82-page complaint regarding the $60 million racketeering conspiracy here.
The complaint says the defendants corruptly used money to promote Householder, pass House Bill 6, and defeat a ballot initiative to overturn the legislation. House Bill 6 bailed out Ohio's two fledgling nuclear power plants (including the Perry Nuclear Generating Station in Lake County.)
Householder pushed hard for the passage of the roughly $1 billion financial rescue and offered praise when it narrowly cleared the General Assembly last July over the objections of even several of his Republican colleagues. The legislation added a new fee to every electricity bill in the state and directed over $150 million a year through 2026 to the plants near Cleveland and Toledo.
The plants in both Perry and Oak Harbor were at one time operated by FirstEnergy's subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions until the latter was spun off as its own independent company known as Energy Harbor following bankruptcy proceedings. Following the news of the investigation, FirstEnergy's stock market share price was down more than 11% as of 1 p.m., while Energy Harbor slid more than 20%.
In a statement to 3News, FirstEnergy indicated that it had received subpoenas in connection with the investigation surrounding Ohio House Bill 6. "We are reviewing the details of the investigation and we intend to fully cooperate," the company wrote.
In addition to Householder, former Ohio Republican Party Chair Matt Borges, Columbus area lobbyist Neil Clark, FirstEnergy Solutions lobbyist Juan Cespedes and Householder aide Jeff Longstreth were also arrested in connection with the charges on Tuesday.