Increased Scrutiny on FirstEnergy Payment to Former PUCO Chair

Andrew Tobias of has reported on a previously unnoticed disclosure by FirstEnergy that sheds additional light on the company’s $4.3 million payment to Sam Randazzo, the former chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), shortly before he took the job as the state’s top utility regulator.

In legal disclosures filed in November, FirstEnergy said the January 2019 payment led to “conduct corresponding to such payment” — and to that person “acting at the request or for the benefit of FirstEnergy as a consequence of receiving such payment.”

According to, FirstEnergy said the payment was a “non-compliance” event that violated its terms with the banks that lend it money, as was conduct by FirstEnergy officials “during the time period after such payment during which the individual was acting in any governmental or regulatory capacity.” 3/4/2021