OCC Again Demands Independent Probe of FirstEnergy

The Office of Ohio Consumer Counsel (OCC) — the state’s official consumer advocate — this week made a second request that utility regulators authorize an independent investigation into whether FirstEnergy improperly used ratepayer funds to fuel what federal prosecutors are calling the biggest bribery scandal in state history.

As reported by Ohio Capital Journal, OCC objected to a directive last week by the PUCO that FirstEnergy itself show that it didn’t use ratepayer funds to pay for a scheme to pass House Bill 6 last year.

The OCC is also asking the PUCO to reopen an investigation into the $465 million FirstEnergy was allowed to collect from Ohio ratepayers in 2017 and 2018 in the form of a “distribution modernization rider.” The Supreme Court of Ohio declared the charge to be unlawful, but the money was not refunded. 9/23/2020