Ex-Ohio House Speaker Larry HouseholderIndicted on 10 State Felony Counts

Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder has been indicted on multiple state felony charges alleging misuse of campaign money and ethics violations – including one count that would permanently ban him from holding public office again in Ohio, Attorney General Dave Yost announced today.

Hear From AG Yost

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“This case seeks to hold Mr. Householder accountable for his actions under state law, and I expect that the results will permanently bar him from public service in Ohio,” Yost said. “State crimes have state penalties, and a conviction will ensure that there will be no more comebacks from the ‘Comeback Kid.’”

The state grand jury indictment, filed today in Cuyahoga County, accuses Householder, 64, of 10 felony charges:

  • One count of theft in office (F1)
  • Two counts of aggravated theft (F2)
  • One count of telecommunications fraud (F2)
  • One count of money laundering (F3)
  • Five counts of tampering with records (F3)

A conviction for theft in office would forever disqualify the Perry County resident from public office, public employment or a position of trust in the state. Householder was convicted on federal charges last year, but those convictions do not legally prevent him from running again for public office.

The state indictment alleges that Householder misused campaign funds to pay for his personal criminal defense in his federal case. In addition, he allegedly failed to accurately complete Joint Legislative Ethics Committee filings. Specifically, records show that he did not disclose fiduciary relationships, creditors and gifts – including those related to fraudulent activity surrounding House Bill 6, legislation that benefitted FirstEnergy. 

Householder was found guilty in March, 2023, for crimes related to House Bill 6 and FirstEnergy and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He is appealing the sentence.

The state charges announced today were filed in Cuyahoga County, where the financial transactions in question allegedly occurred.

The indictment stems from an investigation by a task force organized under the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, part of the Attorney General’s Office. The task force was created at the request of the prosecutor of Summit County, where FirstEnergy is headquartered. By Ohio law, the attorney general’s OOCIC task force cannot initiate an investigation without a request from a prosecutor.

Householder was most recently elected to the Ohio House in 2016 and assumed office in January 2017. He was elected House speaker in 2019, a role he held until his removal from the position in July 2020 after his federal indictment and arrest. Householder remained a state representative until June 16, 2021, when the House expelled him.

Indictments merely contain allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proved guilty in a court of law.

How We Got Here

On Feb. 12, Yost announced that a former PUCO chairman and two former FirstEnergy executives had been indicted on public corruption charges as a result of the OOCIC task force’s investigation. The case against former PUCO Chairman Sam Randazzo; former FirstEnergy CEO Charles “Chuck” Jones; and Michael Dowling, former FirstEnergy senior vice president of external affairs, is ongoing.

The indictments were part of Attorney General’s continuing work to hold those responsible for the House Bill 6 scandal accountable and to save Ohioans significant taxpayer dollars. Through several civil court filings, Yost removed the ill-gotten gains from the corruption legislation, saving the state’s FirstEnergy customers nearly $2 billion over the life of HB6.

Here is a timeline of those efforts:

  • September 2020: Seeking to reverse the harm caused to Ohio, Yost files a civil lawsuit against former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, FirstEnergy, FirstEnergy subsidiary Energy Harbor, and various accomplices.
  • November 2020: Yost moved to block HB6’s nuclear bailout, which would have taken $150 million a year from ratepayers to give to Energy Harbor.
  • December 2020: Yost’s request to prevent the bailout is granted by a judge.
  • January 2021: Yost files a motion to prevent the “decoupling rider,” which would have cost customers $700 million to $1 billion through 2029.
  • August 2021: A judge grants Yost’s request to freeze $8 million of Randazzo’s assets after Randazzo began transferring and selling properties. The ruling was later appealed and affirmed.
  • In August 2021, Yost sues former FirstEnergy CEO Jones and Randazzo, among others, seeking to recover the $4.3 million bribe that FirstEnergy has admitted paying Randazzo.

About OOCIC

The Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, established in 1986 within the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, assists local law enforcement agencies in combatting organized crime and corrupt activities.

“Organized criminal activity” means any combination or conspiracy to engage in activity that constitutes “engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity;” any criminal activity that relates to the corruption of a public official or public servant; or any violation, combination of violations, or conspiracy to commit one or more violations related to drug trafficking, manufacturing and/or possession. 

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