DeWine Again Refuses to Take Accountability for Largest Public Corruption Scandal in State History
July 30, 2021
Governor Facing Questions on Whether He Can Lead with Scandal Looming over Him
Columbus, OH — In case you missed it, State Representatives Jeffrey Crossman (D-Parma) and Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) hosted a press conference at the Ohio Statehouse yesterday to demand accountability from Mike DeWine following last week’s revelations further tying him and Jon Husted to the largest public corruption scandal in state history.
Reps. Crossman and Weinstein called for a full accounting from DeWine and Husted to the press and the public about what they knew about the scandal and when. Rep. Weinstein further called for the firing of Laurel Dawson and Dan McCarthy, two top-level aides connected to the scandal.
Throughout the scandal, DeWine has refused to take accountability for the scandal and his deepening ties to it. That continued again yesterday, as DeWine refused to take any action to punish Dawson and McCarthy and provided no further details about any role he may have played in the scandal, as he faces questions about whether he can effectively lead with the largest public corruption scandal in state history looming over him. Ohio Democrats will continue to pressure DeWine to give a full accounting of what he knew about the scandal and take meaningful action to address his Administration’s connections to it.
See more of what Ohio voters are reading below:
- Gov. Mike DeWine won’t fire two staff members over their ties to Akron-based FirstEnergy, which recently admitted to bribing state officials, despite Democratic demands.
- “It’s past time for them to go and for DeWine to come clean,” Weinstein said. “It’s a privilege to serve in a taxpayer-funded job. These two don’t deserve it.”
- Democrats also sought documents on how DeWine and his administration handled the passage of House Bill 6, a $1 billion bailout of two nuclear plants, and the appointment of Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo.
- “It’s up to DeWine and (Lt. Gov. Jon) Husted to come forward with all the information and let the public judge for themselves whether or not they engaged in any wrongdoing,” Crossman said.
- Randazzo told Dawson about the payment on Oct. 30, the day after FirstEnergy fired three executives, a DeWine spokesman said. But Dawson didn’t tell DeWine about the payment until Nov. 16 when the FBI searched the utility regulator’s home. Randazzo resigned four days later.
- Dawson, who previously served as DeWine’s chief of staff, also disregarded concerns about Randazzo’s close ties to FirstEnergy during his nomination process.
- Randazzo isn’t the only person in DeWine’s orbit with close ties to FirstEnergy. McCarthy, a former FirstEnergy lobbyist, led a FirstEnergy-funded dark money group before joining the administration. McCarthy worked with lawmakers to pass the nuclear bailout in House Bill 6, legislation that DeWine signed the day it hit his desk.
- Democratic state Reps. Jeff Crossman and Casey Weinstein said during a Thursday news conference that Gov. Mike DeWine should provide a fuller accounting of how he and people in his administration interacted with figures in the House Bill 6 scandal, while Weinstein went further and said DeWine should fire two top aides, Laurel Dawson and Dan McCarthy over their ties to FirstEnergy and other actions related to the federal investigation into the bill.
- The event was sponsored by the Ohio Democratic Party, showing that Democrats — no surprise – hope to make the complex scandal a campaign issue heading in 2022.
- Attention is shifting further toward Gov. Mike DeWine as the investigation continues to develop.
- Democratic state Reps. Jeffrey Crossman of Parma and Casey Weinstein of Hudson are calling for the administration to provide better transparency of its work to get the nuclear bailout bill passed in 2019.
- A deferred prosecution agreement signed by federal prosecutors and FirstEnergy, made public last week, has shed further light on a scandal described as the largest bribery scheme in Ohio history.
- The court filing offered new details on the connections between FirstEnergy and Sam Randazzo, the former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) chairman appointed by DeWine in early 2019.
- The critics are also miffed at a subsequent claim from the governor that “everybody” knew at the time Randazzo was appointed PUCO chairman that he’d worked for FirstEnergy.
- “Ohioans deserve to know the truth,” Weinstein said. “There’s a lot of truth left to uncover.”
- Ohio House Democrats called for more accountability Thursday from Gov. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, as news of his administration being potentially tied to the House Bill 6 bribery scandal has come out.
- Representatives Jeffrey Crossman, D-Parma, and Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, took shot after shot at DeWine, and said he isn’t responding seriously enough. The Democratic duo also said heads need to roll.
- “Gov. DeWine has surrounded himself with folks who are deeply involved in this scandal. It’s past time for them to go and for DeWine to come clean,” said Weinstein.
- Democrats in the Ohio House want Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) to fire two members of his staff in response to new information to come out related to the nuclear bailout bribery case. But DeWine’s office says that’s not going to happen.
- DeWine said Monday that Laurel Dawson, his chief of staff at the time, was informed by Sam Randazzo that he was paid $4.3 million by FirstEnergy before becoming chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Dawson was told in October 2020 but did not reveal this to DeWine until November 2020, when the FBI raided Randazzo’s home.
- Crossman says the information in FirstEnergy’s deferred prosecution “further intensify the need for unprecedented amounts of transparency and accountability.”
- State Rep. Casey Weinstein (D., Hudson) targeted the Republican governor’s former chief-of-staff, Laurel Dawson, and his legislative lobbyist, Dan McCarthy.
- That’s not going to happen, Gov. DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said.
- Ms. Dawson played an integral role in selecting former utility lobbyist and consultant Sam Randazzo to head the powerful Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Mr. McCarthy is a former FirstEnergy lobbyist who had headed one of the non-profits linked to a Statehouse bribery scandal prior to joining the DeWine administration.
- Democrats see opportunity in last week’s court revelations that have brought the federal investigation closer to Mr. DeWine’s inner circle.