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Judge sets trial calendar for the case against Larry Householder

Andy Chow

A jury is scheduled to begin hearing arguments in the corruption trial against former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and former FirstEnergy lobbyist Matt Borges in January 2023.

Householder faces racketeering charges in federal court connected to a $61 million bribery scheme in exchange for passing a nuclear power plant bailout.

Federal prosecutors said Householder operated a dark money group that received millions of dollars from FirstEnergy.

The Akron-based utility has admitted in a deferred prosecution to paying bribe money to Householder and other government officials. FirstEnergy said the money was "in exchange for specific official action for FirstEnergy Corp.’s benefit."

Investigators allege that includes HB6, a sweeping energy law passed in 2019. The law accomplished several legislative goals for FirstEnergy such as a $1 billion bailout for two nuclear power plants.

Borges, who is also a former Ohio Republican Party chair, is accused of offering a bribe in exchange for information on a group that was trying to put HB6 up for a vote to be repealed.

Both Householder and Borges have maintained their innocence.

The trial calendar released on Friday said the process to form a jury will begin in November and arguments will be presented in January.

Democrats have vowed to make the corruption charges and trial a key point in their statewide campaigns this year.
Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.