Jury convicts Householder in public corruption case

A jury has found ex-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder guilty in the biggest public corruption case in Ohio history.

After deliberating just over nine hours, the jury reached its verdict Thursday afternoon and convicted Householder. Our news partners at WCPO reported that jurors asked no questions of the court prior to reaching its decision.

The jury also found former Ohio GOP chair and lobbyist Matt Borges guilty.

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The government proved that Householder and his enterprise conspired to violate the racketeering statute through honest services wire fraud, according to a spokesperson from the Department of Justice.

Householder and four associates were arrested in 2020. News Center 7 previously reported that prosecutors allege they took around $60 million from FirstEnergy Corp. in exchange for orchestrating a scheme to elect Householder as speaker and his allies to House seats, allowing them to then pass a $1.3 billion bailout bill for two Ohio nuclear power plants.

Householder began receiving quarterly $250,000 payments from the energy company into one of his bank accounts. His team spent millions of the company’s money to support his political bid.

The United States detailed in court how the former speaker spent more than half a million dollars of “dark money” to pay off credit card balances, repair his Florida home and settle a business lawsuit.

Householder faces up to 20 years in prison.