© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ohio Attorney General Adds Former Executives, Regulator To Nuclear Bailout Lawsuit

Dan Konik

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has amended his civil suit filed against FirstEnergy and former House Speaker Larry Householder to include former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chair Sam Randazzo and former FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones.

The attorney general is seeking restitution from Randazzo, Jones, and former FirstEnergy vice president Michael Dowling. Yost said they engaged in crimes like extortion, money laundering and intimidation while trying to enrich themselves.

Yost said it's important to send a message.

"That if you do this in Ohio, it will ruin you. You will be caught and you're going to pay a price that is so high there will be nothing left of your career," Yost said.

FirstEnergy said it paid Randazzo a $4.3 million bribe in return for help with their nuclear bailout when he became PUCO chair. Randazzo said that's not true.

The suit already names Householder, former Ohio Republican Party Chair Matt Borges, and Energy Harbor, a former subsidiary of FirstEnergy that operates Ohio's two nuclear plants.

Federal prosecutors allege FirstEnergy funneled millions of dollars to a 501(c)4 which was controlled by Householder. According to the charges, Householder used that money for personal and political gain, and then pushed for passage of HB6, a nuclear bailout bill.

FirstEnergy sought passage of the nuclear bailout to save two nuclear power plants in northeast Ohio.

In March, the state repealed the $1 billion in fees over the next decade that all Ohio electric ratepayers would pay to subsidize the state's two nuclear power plants.

The suit seeks to keep all defendants out of public office for eight years.
Copyright 2021 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.