We’re Number 1? GOP ‘Groundbreaking’ Corruption Scandal Biggest in America
May 10, 2021
In Case You Missed It, today the Columbus Dispatch reported that the HB 6 bribery scandal led by Ohio Republicans is the ‘biggest open investigation in any Statehouse in America.’ The ongoing case has connections to high-level Ohio Republicans and continues to harm Ohioans, as taxpayers remain on the hook for bailouts linked to the bribery scheme. Meanwhile, the ringleader of the HB 6 scandal remains in office, collecting a taxpayer salary while Ohio Republicans look the other way.
“The House Bill 6 case may be charting new ground in public corruption prosecutions by alleging that dark money – undisclosed political money that is common in campaigns and advocacy – was used as bribe money,” writes Laura Bischoff.
As FBI Special Agent Matthew DeBlauw agent remarked: “This case is in a league of its own.”
And the bribery scandal is just the latest in a long list of corruption by Ohio Republicans that includes the ECOT scandal, which left Ohio taxpayers out millions of dollars because of the fraud perpetrated by the failed charter school with strong ties to Republican politicians, and the FBI investigation of former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger.
Read Bischoff’s article HERE and more below:
- Ohio’s public corruption case involving $61 million in bribes in exchange for a $1.3 billion bailout is the biggest open investigation in any Statehouse in America — surpassing a similar scandal in Illinois and two closed-out cases in New York.
- The Ohio case involves big money, a Fortune 500 company, top political leaders, 4.5 million electricity customers across the state and the suicide death of a defendant.
- “Historically, I haven’t seen anything like it,” said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Matthew DeBlauw, who leads the public corruption squad in Columbus. “This case is in a league of its own.”
- Public corruption watchdogs told the USA Today Network Ohio that the House Bill 6 case, an open investigation against another previous House speaker and several city-level cases, catapults Ohio ahead of the pack.
- “The whole thing is amazing in scope. It’s incredible,” said Todd Wickerham, former FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Cincinnati office.
- In July 2020, the undercover case went public with the arrests of Ohio House speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, former Ohio Republican Party chairman Matt Borges, lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes and political strategist Jeff Longstreth. Householder and Borges have pleaded not guilty; Cespedes and Longstreth pleaded guilty in October; Clark died by suicide in March.
- The House Bill 6 case may be charting new ground in public corruption prosecutions by alleging that dark money – undisclosed political money that is common in campaigns and advocacy – was used as bribe money.
- “The old bread and butter corruption for the bureau was a cash in the pocket kind of thing,” DeBlauw said. “This is a much more advanced potential form of bribery. It’s an avenue for bribery.”
- Hoffman said a common denominator in corruption cases is greed. Householder allegedly used about $422,000 of the $60 million to pay off credit card debts, pay a legal settlement and fix a Florida condo, according to the FBI criminal complaint.
- “He definitely personally benefited but what I think is fascinating about some of these big, complex cases is some of the guys don’t need the money as much as they want the power,” Hoffman said. “In order to have that power base, elections cost money, having friends elected into positions of power, all that costs money.”