Ohio Democratic Party Statement on First Energy Federal Charges & Ongoing Questions Mike DeWine Must Answer in Connection to the Scandal

Columbus, OH — Today, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio announced federal charges against FirstEnergy for its role in the alleged multi-million dollar bribery scheme orchestrated by top-level members of the Ohio GOP, the largest public corruption case in state history. One year after the arrest of former Republican Speaker Larry Householder, FirstEnergy has agreed to pay a $230 million penalty for its role in the scandal.

Today’s announcement only raises more questions about FirstEnergy’s connections to Mike DeWine and Jon Husted, including an alleged $4 million payment FirstEnergy made to Sam Randazzo before DeWine appointed him to head the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, ignoring concerns that were raised to DeWine about Randazzo’s close ties to the industry.

“As much as Mike DeWine, Jon Husted and the Ohio GOP might like it to, the largest public corruption scandal in state history is not going away anytime soon. One year later, the connections between the DeWine Administration and top-level operatives leading this alleged bribery scheme only continue to grow. Mike DeWine should come clean about his discussions with FirstEnergy executives and provide an accounting to the public and the press about any role he and his staff played in the ongoing scandal,” said Matt Keyes, spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party

Here are five questions about DeWine’s connections to the HB 6 scandal that Ohio voters deserve answers to:

  1. Were DeWine, Jon Husted or any of DeWine’s top advisors involved in discussions about the HB 6 campaign, including conversations about campaign donations connected to the scheme?

  1. Why did DeWine move forward on the appointment of Sam Randazzo to lead the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio despite concerns raised to Husted and DeWine’s then-chief of staff about Randazzo’s connections to FirstEnergy?

  1. What was discussed at meetings between DeWine, Husted and FirstEnergy executives at an October 2018 Republican fundraiser and a separate sitdown dinner in December 2018?

  1. Why did DeWine turn to FirstEnergy to solicit campaign contributions to his daughter’s Greene County prosecutor’s race?

  1. Why has DeWine and his team consistently shied away from or outright refused to answer questions regarding the scandal?