Reports: OH House Speaker Arrested In Connection With $60m Public Corruption Case

COLUMBUS, OH - MAY 18: Ohio Statehouse on May 18, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
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The speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and several others were arrested Tuesday morning as part of a federal public corruption case, multiple Ohio outlets reported.

The FBI arrived at House Speaker Larry Householder’s (R) farm in Glenford, Ohio Monday morning, and sometime after that took Householder into custody, the Cincinnati Enquirer and Columbus Dispatch reported, citing unnamed law enforcement sources.

Also arrested, according to the reports, were the state Republican party’s former chairman Matt Borges, lobbyists Neil Clark and Juana Cespedes, and an adviser to Householder, Jeff Longstreth. All five men are expected to appear via video before Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman at 1 p.m, the Toledo Blade reported.

The FBI told the newspaper that it was conducting a “court-authorized law enforcement activity” at Householder’s farm.

The arrests are reportedly connected to a planned press conference Tuesday afternoon featuring the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.

A planning document for the press conference says law enforcement officials will discuss “a public corruption racketeering conspiracy involving $60 million.”

Househoulder was the House speaker from 2001 to 2004, when he left the post due to term limits. He was reelected to the statehouse in 2016 and reelected speaker in 2019.

Citing an unnamed source, the Toledo Blade reported that the federal investigation revolved around House legislation last year to bail out two nuclear power plants in the state.

“House Bill 6” was extremely controversial in- and out-of-state for propping up the aging plants while lowering statewide standards for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Vox News’ David Roberts wrote at the time that HB6 was “the most counterproductive and corrupt piece of state energy legislation I can recall in all my time covering this stuff.”

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Notable Replies

  1. GOP pigs at the trough. Trump will pardon them.

  2. Avatar for bkmn bkmn says:

    A fish may rot from the head but the entire body is rotting. I just wonder how much of a bribe Trump will want to pardon them.

  3. This might get Michael Madigan, Illinois Speaker, a tad nervous given the parallels…

    Even Dem’s can go bad…

  4. The bullshit that was pulled to get this bailout done that we know of was legendary. They sent out fake people to get people to sign false petitions so they wouldn’t sign the real one. The commercials spewing lies about what the bailout would be for were reprehensible.

    The payoff is extraordinary in degree — something like $30 million for campaigns in Ohio and Pennsylvania to win $1.1 billion in government subsidy.

  5. To take a positive from it, while it would be nice if these arrests came closer to the election, they could have come farther from the election, and this might be a help to Ohio Democratic legislative candidates. My recollection is Republicans have controlled Ohio for a long time. Maybe at the minimum the arrested speaker’s seat just became competitive.

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