Mar 9, 2023 - Politics

Timeline: The Larry Householder saga

Former Ohio Representative Larry Householder speaking on the House floor.

Former House Speaker Larry Householder arguing against his eventual expulsion from the Ohio Statehouse in June 2021. Photo: Courtesy of the Ohio Channel

Jury deliberation continues Thursday in the corruption trial of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder.

State of play: He's alleged to have been involved in a $60 million bribery scheme that resulted in a $1.3 billion nuclear bailout bill enacted in 2019. Here's a quick timeline of events:

2018: Householder is alleged to have used dark money to fund the campaigns of Republican allies during this election cycle.

  • These candidates went on to support his successful return to the speaker's chair the following January.

Oct. 22, 2019: HB 6 goes into effect, gutting state renewable energy standards and subsidizing the operation costs of FirstEnergy nuclear power plants via new monthly surcharges on Ohio electricity ratepayers.

July 21, 2020: Householder and four political associates are arrested in what former U.S. attorney David M. DeVillers called "likely the largest bribery and money-laundering scheme ever in the state of Ohio."

2020-2021: Campaign strategist Jeffrey Longstreth, lobbyist Juan Cespedes and a political nonprofit group that admitted to receiving FirstEnergy bribes all plead guilty to their participation in the scheme.

  • FirstEnergy also agreed to pay a $230 million penalty in a deferred prosecution settlement with the federal government that acknowledged paying Householder in return for HB 6's passage.

Jan. 23, 2023-present: Householder and another alleged conspirator, former Ohio GOP chair Matt Borges, face trial for racketeering.

  • "The bottom line is that Larry Householder was engaged in political activity, not criminal activity," his attorney said in Tuesday's closing statement.

What's next: Each faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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