Ohio Statehouse Rocked: Speaker Arrested in $60M Bribery Case

Tuesday morning, July 21, FBI agents arrested House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and four associates. Later in the day, U.S. Attorney David DeVillers summarized the details of a $60 million federal bribery case tied to the speaker and his dark-money enterprise called Generation Now. The sham organization was allegedly established for personal and political gain — and to ensure passage of last year’s House Bill 6, the ratepayer-funded bailout of two nuclear power plants. See the OMA’s summary of Tuesday’s events here.

DeVillers said the case is “likely the largest bribery, money laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of the state of Ohio.” He added, “This was bribery, plain and simple. This was a quid pro quo. This was pay to play.”

Now the Statehouse is in a state of flux, even as important COVID-related legislation awaits action, including a bill to limit liability for businesses. Gov. Mike DeWine and several lawmakers have called for Householder to resign. A member of the Ohio House can be expelled for “disorderly conduct” with a vote of two-thirds (66) of legislators.

Meanwhile, DeVillers has said this week’s arrests are not the end of the investigation — and that federal agents will continue to interview potential witnesses and execute search warrants in the coming days and weeks. 7/22/2020