Columbus, OH — Today, the Ohio Democratic Party released the following statement on the resignation of Dan McCarthy, Mike DeWine’s Legislative Director with deep ties to FirstEnergy and connections to the largest public corruption scandal in state history. McCarthy worked as a FirstEnergy lobbyist and helped found Partners for Progress, a dark money group that FirstEnergy funneled money through to politicians they were trying to secure the support of as part of the scandal.
“The end of Dan McCarthy’s time in state government is long past due, but this is only the beginning. The connections between Mike DeWine and the largest public corruption scheme in state history continue to deepen, and he can’t hide behind staff and continue to duck accountability. He must provide a full accounting of what he knew about the $60 million bribery scheme and when, and give Ohio voters the transparency they deserve,” said Matt Keyes, spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party.
Earlier this year, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio outlined various ways that DeWine is connected to the scandal, including top-level staff with direct ties to the scandal that DeWine continues to stand behind. DeWine has tried to avoid answering questions on his ties to the scandal and what he knew and when, but Ohio voters deserve full transparency and accountability.
DeWine’s chief of staff, Laurel Dawson, has admitted to knowing about a $4.3 million payment to Sam Randazzo and hiding this fact from DeWine for several weeks. Dawson had also pushed for Randazzo to be nominated as Chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, ignoring concerns raised about his close ties to the industry and the possibility of his corruption.
The connections between DeWine and the scandal run deeper, however, as he also took more than one hundred thousand dollars from FirstEnergy and even more from executives tied to the scandal. He also took part in a private meeting with FirstEnergy executives in both Oct. 2018 and Dec. 2018, two meetings which he has not discussed the contents of publicly. He also solicited campaign donations for his daughter’s Greene County Prosecutor’s race, and appointed individuals directly connected to the HB 6 scandal to high-level state positions, including Michael Dowling, a former FirstEnergy VP, and Matt Borges and Juan Cespedes, both of whom were charged in the case.