In July of last year, several people were arrested for a ‘pay to play’ bribery scheme connected to FirstEnergy’s failing power plants.
Editor’s note: The video in the player above is from a story published on July 29, 2020.
Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley signed three subpoenas on Monday, asking for the new statutory agent of Generation Now Ohio Inc., as well as the “Records Custodian” at Fifth Third and Huntington banks, to testify with the Cleveland City Council.
The subpoenas are connected to the ongoing investigation into former Ohio Speaker of the House, Larry Householder, and the ‘pay to play’ bribery scheme to bail out several failing power and coal plants formerly operated by FirstEnergy’s subsidiary, FirstEnergy Solutions, until the latter was spun off as its own independent company now known as Energy Harbor following bankruptcy proceedings.
“We know that Generation Now seemed to be the first stop for a huge amount of money that was then passed out. We want to know where it went and if it was used against the city of Cleveland and CPP,” said Kelley in a statement provided to 3News.
The subpoenas request “any and all financial records including banking account numbers and account transaction records of Consumers Against Deceptive Fees.”
RELATED: Legislation approved to eliminate Ohio nuclear plants bailout
FirstEnergy is believed to have paid Householder and several others a sum of $60 million to pass House Bill 6 and defeat a ballot initiative to overturn the legislation. Householder and four others were arrested in July 2020 in connection to the scheme.
That same month, Kevin Kelley co-sponsored legislation to repeal HB6, saying that many Cleveland residents who are FirstEnergy customers will be forced to pay for the bailout once the bill kicks in.
The resolution stated: “First Energy has another long-term public policy goal specific to the City of Cleveland — namely, the restriction or destruction of Cleveland Public Power; and … several of the tactics used in the charged racketeering conspiracy to enact HB6 are similar to tactics used by First Energy and their allies in Cleveland, including the use of phony citizen groups and the use of significant campaign funds and political pressure.”
While a portion of HB 6 has been repealed, state lawmakers have not repealed all of it and FirstEnergy customers are still required to bail out the two coal plants.
“We know Consumers Against Deceptive Fees received much more than the $200,000 that tracked back to the FirstEnergy dark money group,” said Council President Kelley this week. “It’s important to find out other funders of the organization.
RELATED: Bill would force Householder, if convicted, to repay state salary