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911 call requesting wellness check for Sam Randazzo that led to his body being found released

Former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio chair Sam Randazzo leaves federal court in Cincinnati accompanied by his wife on Dec. 4, 2023.
Zack Carreon
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WVXU
Former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio chair Sam Randazzo leaves federal court in Cincinnati accompanied by his wife on Dec. 4, 2023.
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A 911 call released by Columbus police reveals more details about how Sam Randazzo's body was discovered Tuesday morning.

A spokesperson for the Franklin County Coroner's Office said Randazzo died by suspected suicide.

Randazzo faced state and federal charges tied to the House Bill 6 nuclear bailout scandal and to his business after Gov. Mike DeWine appointed him as the chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

The night before his body was discovered, Randazzo walked less than a mile from his home on South Grant Street to an industrial building he owned at 492 East Mound St.

His wife called a Summit County court employee Tuesday morning when Randazzo was supposed to check in with the court, according to the phone call. She said Randazzo took a walk the night before and hadn't returned. He was wearing a GPS monitor.

The employee called Columbus 911 to ask for a wellness check.

"We have located that transmitter, and she believes her husband is not in a good mental place. Potentially, he could harm himself due to the nature of the trial that's going on and these current new charges that came in last week," the man told the 911 dispatcher.

The 911 center dispatched Columbus firefighters to the scene. Randazzo's body was found hanging.

Randazzo had pleaded not guilty to 22 state and 11 federal charges filed against him.

According to court filings, Randazzo was mentally distressed about wearing a GPS monitoring device. His bid to move his federal trial from Cincinnati to Columbus was denied. His attorneys said the daily trip would have been taxing to Randazzo, who was "battling a number of chronic health issues."

Randazzo's assets were frozen and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was attempting to confiscate $4.3 million Randazzo allegedly received as a bribe.

Randazzo was scheduled to be arraigned on a supplemental forfeiture specification on April 19 in Summit County.

Yost's office hasn't responded to WOSU's inquiry asking what will happen with efforts to collect the $4.3 million.

If you or anyone you know is in crisis, the National Suicide Hotline can be reached by dialing 988.

Renee Fox is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News.