FBI searches home of Ohio’s top utilities regulator
Jessie Balmert and Mark WilliamsThe Columbus Dispatch
Published November 16, 2020, Updated: 1:01 pm 11/16/20
Excerpts of the article:
“FBI agents removed boxes of materials Monday from the Columbus home of Sam Randazzo, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the state’s top utilities regulator.”
“FBI agents are conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity in that area in relation to a sealed federal search warrant,” FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren said. “Due to this matter being sealed, no further details can be released at this time.”
“Before leading the commission, Randazzo was a lobbyist and an attorney for energy companies and Industrial Energy Users-Ohio, which represents some of the state’s largest industries.”
“Randazzo’s company, Sustainability Funding Alliance of Ohio, was listed as a company used by former FirstEnergy subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions, now called Energy Harbor, on the company’s December 2018 bankruptcy report.”
“HB6 imposed an 85-cent monthly fee on electric utility customers to bail out the state’s two nuclear power plants owned by Energy Harbor. The fee goes into effect in 2021, although legislators are debating bills that would repeal the bailout after the scandal blew up this summer.”
“The fee will raise about $150 million a year for the plants, or nearly $1 billion over the life of the bailout.”
“In July, then-House Speaker Larry Householder, former Ohio Republican Party leader Matt Borges, political strategist Jeff Longstreth and two lobbyists, Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes, were arrested and later indicted as part of a $61 million bribery and racketeering scandal to get HB6 passed and then block an effort to put the issue on a state ballot. Longstreth and Cespedes pleaded guilty shortly before the election.”
“Last month, Akron-based FirstEnergy fired its CEO and two other executives after a review by an independent committee of the company’s board found the executives violated FirstEnergy policies and code of conduct. “
Updated 11/20/20….5:36 pm
Excerpts from the article:
COLUMBUS, Ohio—Sam Randazzo has resigned as chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, just days after the FBI searched his Columbus home as part of an investigation into the House Bill 6 bribery scandal, according to Gov. Mike DeWine’s office.
Randazzo’s resignation comes a day after FirstEnergy Corp. revealed that it fired CEO Chuck Jones and two other senior executives last month over a questionable $4 million payment the company made in early 2019 to an entity associated with an unnamed person who subsequently was hired by the state to regulate utilities.
Categories: Corruption, Uncategorized
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