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 June 24, 2023

Prosecutors ask for 16-20 year sentence for former Ohio Speaker Larry Householder

Former Ohio state Speaker of the House Larry Householder was previously found to have taken a massive bribe for which he was caught, and the feds this week announced the prison term they're seeking for him. 

According to The Hill, federal prosecutors said they want a 16- to 20-year sentence for Householder, who was convicted of accepting a $61 million bribe from FirstEnergy.

The bribe was for Household would help pass legislation favorable to the energy company, which eventually happened, though much of it was later repealed.

Federal prosecutors made crystal clear in their demands that Householder be held accountable, given his powerful political position.

"Householder once occupied one of the three most powerful offices in the State of Ohio. He now faces a substantial prison sentence for causing immeasurable damage to the institution of democracy in Ohio, through his direction of a criminal enterprise," a sentencing memo read.

It went on to describe Householder as a "mob boss."

"He acted as the quintessential mob boss, directing the criminal enterprise from the shadows and using his casket carriers to execute the scheme," the memo read.

The Hill noted:

In a trial that took more than two months, prosecutors laid out a case that Householder accepted bribes from FirstEnergy in order to pass a $1.3 billion taxpayer-funded bailout for the company’s nuclear power plants.

FirstEnergy paid a $230 million fine for its role in the bribes and fired some of its executives.

Before the two-month trial, some of the Republican operatives who worked with Householder on the bribery scheme pleaded guilty to various charges and agreed to testify against the former state House speaker.

For their cooperation, federal prosecutors only asked for a six-month sentence.

Notably, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) was caught up in the investigation into the bribery scheme. However, the Republican governor denied he was aware of any such deals or bribery schemes. He was never charged with a crime.

According to the Dayton Daily News, Householder and his lawyers asked for a significantly shorter sentence, 12-18 months, arguing that the former state speaker is a "broken man."

"Our purpose here is not to relitigate the facts presented to the jury — that will be a task for the appellate lawyers and the appellate courts — but to present a perspective of Mr. Householder that was not reflected in his portrayal at trial and in the news media," his attorneys wrote.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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