First Energy goes nuclear on Executives

FirstEnergy fires CEO, two other executives, amid federal investigations over nuclear bailout bill

Updated Oct 29, 2020; Posted Oct 29, 2020

By Andrew J. Tobias, and John Caniglia,

Edited by LFC

COLUMBUS, Ohio — FirstEnergy Corp. has fired its CEO amid multiple federal investigations related to an Ohio nuclear bailout law passed last year.

The Akron-based utility company announced in a Thursday evening news release it had terminated CEO Chuck Jones, effective immediately. The company promoted its president, Steven Strah, to acting CEO, while board member Christopher D. Pappas was named executive director.

The company also fired two others: Senior Vice President of Product Development, Marketing, and Branding Dennis Chack, and Senior Vice President of External Affairs Mike Dowling.

The company said the three executives were fired after an internal review committee determined they “violated certain FirstEnergy policies and its code of conduct.” The company didn’t offer additional details in its press release, and a company spokeswoman declined to elaborate.

Jones, a longtime FirstEnergy executive, has been the company’s CEO since 2015.

Donald T. Misheff, FirstEnergy Non-Executive Chairman, said in a statement: “We as a Board have strong confidence that this leadership transition and Steve’s appointment as Acting CEO will position FirstEnergy to move forward with positive momentum and drive long-term shareholder value creation.”

The moves come amid a federal investigation into House Bill 6, signed by Gov. Mike DeWine last year, which will send more than $1 billion to two Ohio nuclear plants owned by a previous FirstEnergy subsidiary starting in January. Prosecutors have alleged FirstEnergy and its affiliates gave $61 million in bribes to former House Speaker Larry Householder, money that was used to fund political spending to help Householder get his legislative leadership position, then to pressure state lawmakers to pass the bill and to defend it against a repeal effort.

Householder and four others were arrested in July and charged with racketeering. He has pleaded not guilty, as have two other lobbyists arrested with him, Neil Clark and Matt Borges. But two associates, Jeff Longstreth, a top Householder political aide, and Juan Cespedes, a former lobbyist for the former FirstEnergy subsidiary, pleaded guilty to federal charges on Thursday.

FirstEnergy officials have not been charged or officially named in the probe, but charging documents make clear the company is central to the alleged bribery scheme. Southern District of Ohio U.S. Attorney David DeVillers said Thursday the investigation is ongoing.

The federal HB6 probe also has spawned reviews by the Ohio Elections Commission, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has sued FirstEnergy over the allegations detailed in federal criminal charges, as have city officials in Columbus and Cincinnati. FirstEnergy customers and shareholders also have sued. Energy Harbor, the former FirstEnergy subsidiary that now owns the two nuclear plants HB 6 funded, has received FBI subpoenas connected to the probe, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Documents filed earlier this month involving a shareholder’s lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Akron show that Jones and other top executives at FirstEnergy sold off millions of dollars of company stock from March 1, 2017, to March 1, 2020.

The records allege that Jones “sold or otherwise disposed of over 788,000 shares” of FirstEnergy stock for $31 million during that time.

He sold off the most shares – 148,302 and earned $6 million – on March 1, 2019, months before the passage of House Bill 6 on May 29, according to the filings.

The filings said the executives “engaged in insider trades, which rendered them unable to exercise the independent judgment required of them to investigate the allegations relating to FirstEnergy’s participation in the illegal scheme involving passage of Ohio’s House Bill 6.”

The documents were filed in a derivative lawsuit filed against the company’s board of directors by Jennifer Miller, a shareholder from Alameda, California.

FirstEnergy plans to release its 3rd quarter financial results before markets open on Monday. The company will hold its quarterly conference call with analysts at 9 a.m. that day.

As of 7:36 p.m., FirstEnergy’s stock price had dropped by 7.31% in Thursday after-hours trading to $29.30 a share.


Categories: Corruption

Tags: ,

35 replies

  1. Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

  2. Im not sure where you’re getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for this info for my mission.

  3. Having read this I believed it was rather informative. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  4. 845038 185623Im so happy to read this. This really is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation thats at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc. 139854

  5. I really liked your post.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  6. I admire your work, thanks for all the informative blog posts.

  7. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

  8. Those are yours alright! . We at least need to get these people stealing images to start blogging! They probably just did a image search and grabbed them. They look good though!

  9. Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  10. I have been checking out a few of your posts and i can state clever stuff. I will surely bookmark your website.

  11. Thanx for the effort, keep up the good work Great work, I am going to start a small Blog Engine course work using your site I hope you enjoy blogging with the popular you express are really awesome. Hope you will right some more posts.

  12. I抳e been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website. Reading this info So i抦 happy to convey that I’ve a very good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to don抰 forget this website and give it a glance on a constant basis.

  13. Thanks for another magnificent article. Where else could anyone get that kind of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

  14. I believe you’re on the right track with your blog post. You’ve got a considerable amount of appealing content that new visitors will certainly appreciate.

  15. I prefer the useful tips offer in your records.

  16. Hello.This post was extremely fascinating, especially because I was browsing for thoughts on this matter last week.

  17. I write sometimes and also I profoundly treasure your material. This wonderful guide has honestly peaked my curiosity. I am going to book mark your website and also keep looking for brand-new information relating to when a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

  18. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However I am experiencing problems with your RSS. I don’t understand why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting similar RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  19. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having issues with your RSS. I don’t understand why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody having identical RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  20. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance. I must say you have done a very good job with this. Also, the blog loads very quick for me on Internet explorer. Exceptional Blog!

  21. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

  22. I have been browsing online more than three hours nowadays, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is pretty value sufficient for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you did, the net will likely be a lot more helpful than ever before. “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” by Lao Tzu.

  23. Hey, you used to write excellent, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  24. 746143 350600Thank you for every other informative internet site. Where else could I get that type of information written in such a perfect indicates? Ive a mission that Im just now operating on, and Ive been at the look out for such information. 212118

  25. You could definitely see your skills in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  26. Hey there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Cheers!

  27. I simply couldn’t go away your website before suggesting that I extremely loved the usual information an individual provide on your visitors? Is going to be back often in order to investigate cross-check new posts.

  28. Definitely consider that which you stated. Your favourite justification appeared to be at the web the easiest thing to consider of. I say to you, I certainly get irked even as other people think about worries that they plainly don’t recognize about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and also outlined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  29. I like the valuable info you provide for your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again right here regularly. I’m somewhat certain I will be informed a lot of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  30. I like what you guys are up too. Such intelligent work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I?¦ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my web site 🙂

  31. I am always thought about this, thanks for putting up.

  32. 67245 851556These kinds of Search marketing boxes normally realistic, healthy and balanced as a result receive just about every customer service necessary for some product. Link Building Services 187111

  33. 699891 412342I adore your wp internet template, wherever would you obtain it via? 958937

Leave a Reply

Discover more from Lobbyists for Citizens

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading