Here’s What They’re Saying: Ohio Democratic Party Demands Answers from the DeWine Administration on HB 6 Scandal
January 26, 2022
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Columbus, OH — In case you missed it, Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) Chair Elizabeth Walters held a statewide virtual press conference Monday demanding answers on behalf of Ohio voters about what Mike DeWine and Jon Husted knew and when about the House Bill 6 scandal, the largest public corruption scandal in state history.
On the call, Chair Walters outlined new public records the party will seek in an attempt to get answers from the DeWine administration. If the DeWine administration continues to stonewall, as they have with previous records requests, the party is prepared to sue.
“The HB 6 scandal is more than just a bad bill. It’s a sign of just how corrupt our statehouse has become, from the top-down. Republican politicians think that they can get away with raising the costs of Ohioans’ energy bills, taking millions of dollars in bribes and ‘no commenting’ their way out of the scandal. Not on our watch,” said Walters.
Read more about how media is covering Monday’s announcement:
“Ohio Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters told reporters Monday that the party is filing a new round of public records requests in an attempt to learn what Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, and other administration officials might have known about House Bill 6 allegations before former House Speaker Larry Householder and others were indicted in July of 2020.
“‘More than 1.5 years later, a lot of questions remain,’ she said. ‘The thing that sticks with me the most is we can’t even get the courtesy of a response from the DeWine administration.’
“The party is prepared to file suit if there is no response within 30 days, Ms. Walters said.
“The Ohio Democratic Party threatened legal action against the DeWine administration if it doesn’t respond to a public records request regarding House Bill 6.
“[T]hey are submitting requests that they initially put in last October asking for communication between Governor Mike Dewine, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted, their staffs and special interests groups tied to House Bill 6.
“[T]hose requests have gone unanswered for at least 90 days. And now the party is giving the administration 30 more days before it says it will file suit.
“The days of hiding behind “no comments” and stalling on fulfilling records requests that Ohioans have the right by law to obtain is over. Working Ohioans don’t get to pick and choose what rules they follow and neither should their elected officials. And that’s what we’re fighting for.”
“The push for answers continues when it comes to the scandal that has consumed the state, House Bill 6.
“[T]he Ohio Democratic Party [is] announcing a new round of public record requests to demand answers from Governor DeWine about House Bill 6, including any communications between the governor and those involved in the scandal and the visitor’s log from the governor’s office and mansion.
“The HB 6 scandal is more than just a bad bill. It’s a sign of just how corrupt our state government has become from the top down.
“Five people are facing federal charges in the case, including former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder.”
“Ohio Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters says it’s been 100 days since the party first requested records among DeWine and his administration related to the nuclear power plant bailout and the appointment of a state regulator later accused of taking a bribe from utility company FirstEnergy.
“‘And so as long as those questions remain unanswered, that begs the question of what else are they hiding? Where else can we be getting information? Why aren’t they responding to our request? It sounds like they’re trying to protect themselves and others, and that is not a just response for the voters of Ohio.’
The Ohio Democratic Party says it’s seeking more information through its records requests ‘on behalf of Ohioans on what exactly took place leading up to the $60 million bribery scheme and who knew what and when.’”
“Monday morning the Ohio Democratic Party announced a new round of public record requests, with the legislation at the center of the largest bribery scandal in state history.
“‘We will not stand idly by and wait for Mike DeWine to stall. If these public records requests are not fulfilled in a timely manner, the Ohio Democratic Party is prepared to file a lawsuit demanding their release.’”