DeWine and Husted at Center of New Book Detailing HB 6 Corruption Scandal
July 1, 2021
Columbus, OH — Today, Cleveland.com previewed a bombshell book by former lobbyist Neil Clark, who was indicted in connection to the HB 6 scandal, that reportedly further connects Mike DeWine and Jon Husted to the corruption scheme. According to the reports, Clark’s book goes into detail about how involved DeWine and Husted were in the coordination of the HB 6 efforts, the way they allegedly worked to secure campaign donations from groups tied to the scandal and highlights the multiple connections the Republicans had to the scandal through their top-level staffers.
From Cleveland.com: “‘We spent a long time talking about Husted and DeWine and the multiple [nonprofits and businesses] that each of them had access to,’ Clark wrote about the meeting with federal agents. ‘I gave them the names of fund-raisers and major vendors.’”
As more and more information comes out about the largest corruption scandal in state history, DeWine and Husted find themselves increasingly linked to the alleged scheme that increased the cost of Ohioans’ energy bills in exchange for political and personal favors for Republican politicians.
“The more we learn about the HB 6 scandal, the biggest corruption scandal in state history, the more we learn about the ways Mike DeWine and Jon Husted have connections to the scheme. DeWine and Husted can’t continue to ‘no comment’ their way out of this scandal. Ohio voters deserve answers and accountability from their top elected officials,” said Matt Keyes, spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party.
Read more HERE and below:
- Lobbyist Neil Clark told the FBI that no company “has ever owned as many politicians” as FirstEnergy Corp., adding that its top officials meddled in strategy involving House Bill 6, Clark’s new book says.
- It says he also described how Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, longtime proponents of FirstEnergy, used money from political nonprofits to fill their campaign coffers and shield the donors.
- “I gave [federal agents] enough to fill their gaps and prove my knowledge,” Clark wrote about his meeting with authorities on July 28, 2020, just days after his arrest on a federal racketeering charge. “After 3½ hours, we took a break. I could tell they were happy.”
- Clark questioned how DeWine, the state’s top elected official, could be spared scrutiny in the scandal when so many of his top staffers supported or had worked for FirstEnergy.
- The day after the arrests, DeWine said he supported the policy laid out in the bailout, saying it’s needed to preserve jobs at the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants and keep carbon-free sources of energy. He, however, called the way it was delivered “forever tainted.”
- Even before DeWine stumped for House Bill 6 and later signed it, reporters wrote about the relationship between his office and FirstEnergy.
- “We spent a long time talking about Husted and DeWine and the multiple [nonprofits and businesses] that each of them had access to,” Clark wrote about the meeting with federal agents. “I gave them the names of fund-raisers and major vendors.”
- Clark cited Sam Randazzo as an example of those with close ties to FirstEnergy and DeWine. Clark called Randazzo “the author of HB 6.” Records provided to the FBI in response to a subpoena confirm that, showing Randazzo was involved in writing portions of the bill.
- DeWine chose Randazzo, a utilities lawyer, in 2019 to lead the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. He resigned after federal agents searched his home in November.
- A day after the raid, DeWine appeared to support Randazzo: “I hired him. I think he’s a good person. If there’s evidence to the contrary, then we’ll act accordingly.”
- FirstEnergy has reported that it paid $4 million to an entity tied to a person “appointed to a full-time role as an Ohio government official directly involved in regulating” FirstEnergy in Ohio. In filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company did not name the person, but published reports and public records link the payment to Randazzo.