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Closing statements Tuesday in Householder corruption trial

House Speaker Larry Householder draws up the details of his plan to overhaul energy policy in Ohio.
Andy Chow
/
Ohio Public Radio
House Speaker Larry Householder draws up the details of his plan to overhaul energy policy in Ohio on April 12, 2019.

Closing statements are set before a jury Tuesday in the trial of ex-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and lobbyist Matt Borges, where both Republicans are accused of participating in a $60 million bribery scheme that federal prosecutors call the largest corruption case in state history.

The government alleges Householder orchestrated a scheme funded by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. to secure the speakership, elect legislative allies, then pass and defend a $1 billion nuclear power plant bailout benefiting the electric utility. Borges is accused of seeking to bribe an operative working to overturn the bailout law.

Both are charged with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise involving bribery and money laundering, which carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison. Both pleaded not guilty and maintain their innocence.

The prosecution goes will go first, and then after lunch, lawyers for Householder and Borges take over. Prosecutors get the final word with a rebuttal before the jury gets the case.

The six-week trial came two-and-a-half years after Householder, Borges and three others were arrested in the case.

Prosecutors called an FBI agent to the stand who walked jurors through the highlights of thousands of pages of subpoenaed records, then played them secretly taped conversations and questioned firsthand participants in key events surrounding the alleged scheme.

Householder also called a state lawmaker and took the stand in his defense. Borges rested without calling any witnesses.

Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler contributed to this story.

The Associated Press