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Former PUCO Chair, FirstEnergy execs added by state to bribery lawsuit



Ohio AG Dave Yost announced Sam Randazzo, former FirstEnergy CEO Charles Jones and former senior vice president Michael Dowling were being added to the lawsuit.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Former Public Utility Commission of Ohio chairman Sam Randazzo has been added as a defendant, along with two since-fired FirstEnergy executives, to the bribery lawsuit filed by the state.

In September, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sued in an attempt to block the state’s nuclear plants from collecting fees on electricity bills that were authorized in a new law at the center of a $60 million federal bribery probe involving the former speaker of the Ohio House, Larry Householder.

On Thursday, Yost announced Randazzo, former FirstEnergy CEO Charles Jones and former senior vice president Michael Dowling were being added to the lawsuit.

Yost’s office said the suit also is looking to recover a $4.3 million bribe First Energy admitted to paying Randazzo for helping put together House Bill 6.

“As layers of the corrupt enterprise continue to be pried apart, it became clear that Jones, Dowling and Randazzo were significant players in what one of the participants labeled “an unholy alliance,” Yost’s office wrote in a press release.

Thursday’s filing can be read here.

Yost said his lawsuit has already recovered more than $1 billion by blocking the nuclear plant subsidy and other provisions.

Federal prosecutors in July 2020 accused Householder and four others of shepherding energy company money for personal and political use as part of an effort to pass the legislation, then kill any attempt to repeal it at the polls. 

The lawsuit also aims to dissolve any organizations involved in this incident, issue an eight-year ban on lobbying or holding public office for those who took part and asks that Householder and Randazzo give up their public salaries during the time of this incident.



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