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More Ohio Lawmakers Calling For Larry Householder To Resign Following Arrest

House Speaker Larry Householder
Andy Chow
Ohio Public Radio

A growing chorus of Ohio lawmakers are calling for Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder to resign after he was arrested and charged with bribery and racketeering on Tuesday.

It didn’t take long for Householder’s fellow Republicans Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. John Husted and Attorney General Dave Yost to say he should resign. DeWine said says he’ll consider taking action if his fellow Republicans in the House do not.

DeWine said he’s talking to House members and that it’s their obligation to deal with this.

“But if it’s necessary for us to call the legislature into session, give them a specific topic which would be the speakership, I certainly would not hesitate to do that at all," DeWine said.

In a tweet, Yost said that if the House Speaker won't call the Ohio House into session, the Ohio Constitution grants the governor the right to convene the General Assembly by proclamation "on extraordinary occasions."

It would take a two-thirds majority to remove Householder; 52 Republicans and Democrats voted for him as Speaker, and some have already said he should step down.

Republican state Reps. Craig Riedel (R-Defiance) and Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) are also calling for his resignation, and so are state Reps. Jon Cross (R-Kenton), John Becker (R-Union Township, Clermont County) and Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville), who were among the 26 Republicans who voted for Householder as Speaker last year.

Most Democrats also voted for Householder. Some now want him to step down, including Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron).

Householder hasn’t given any indication he will resign but if he does, Speaker Pro Tempore Jim Butler (R-Oakwood) will be next in line to lead the 99-member chamber.

There were similar questions about House protocol in early 2018, when it was revealed that Speaker Cliff Rosenberger was under FBI scrutiny. Rosenberger resigned, but while his home and office were raided, no charges were filed.

But DeWine said he does not supporta repeal of the nuclear power plant bailout that federal prosecutors say Householder got passed with a $61 million corruption scheme.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.