Guilty Pleas in HB 6 Corruption Case; FirstEnergy Fires CEO Chuck Jones

The fallout continues from the House Bill 6 scandal.

On Thursday, Oct. 29, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black accepted guilty pleas from two of the individuals facing federal racketeering charges alongside former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenville). Hours later, FirstEnergy Corp. announced it had terminated CEO Charles E. Jones Jr. and two senior vice presidents for violating company policies and its code of conduct.

As reported at, Juan Cespedes, a former lobbyist for FirstEnergy, and Jeffrey Longstreth, a longtime campaign and political strategist for Householder, admitted they took part in a “massive pay-to-play scandal” tied to the nuclear subsidy law and a subsequent referendum campaign. Federal authorities allege the scheme involved more than $60 million in bribes to Householder and a handful of allies.

The Statehouse News Bureau writes that the guilty pleas mean the defendants have “reached a deal with federal prosecutors.” U.S. Attorney David DeVillers says the “investigation remains ongoing.”10/29/2020