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Householder 'sold the Statehouse,' prosecutor says

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder faces a federal charge of conspiracy to commit racketeering. He was arrested Tuesday, July 21, 2020.
John Minchillo
Associated Press

Federal prosecutors say Larry Householder and Matt Borges participated in a $61 million bribery scheme to get Householder elected speaker and pass a $1 billion nuclear bailout law.

On this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the opening of the trial. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow joins the show.

Court is now in session

The trial of former House Speaker Larry Householder has begun. Opening arguments started Monday, and testimony began Tuesday in the trial, which could last six weeks.

Federal prosecutors say Householder and his co-defendant Matt Borges are guilty of organizing a $61 million bribery scheme that funneled money from First Energy to candidates in order to receive a hefty bailout from consumers.

Householder spoke with reporters before the trial started, and said he was eager to get started and would be willing to testify to defend himself.

GOP infighting at the statehouse

In what is usually a pretty boring, quick session, the House voted on its rules and chose its committee members this week. But this year, all is not well in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The factions of the jilted would-be speaker Derrick Merrin clashed with supporters of the actual House Speaker Jason Stephens.

In the meantime, not much lawmaking is getting done, which is not a problem for the House Democrats, whose leader Rep. Allison Russo wins this week's "Snollygoster of the Week" award.

If you have a suggestion for our "Snollygoster of the Week" award, a question or a comment, send them to snollygoster@wosu.org.