Ohio’s Speaker of the House of Representatives, Larry Householder taken into custody in $60M Bribery Case

Photo from Cleveland.com

The Republican Party was just rocked by a bombshell arrest when Larry Householder, the conservative Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, was among four people taken into custody on charges involving a $60 million federal bribery case.

Householder was reportedly arrested by the FBI at his farm in Ohio early Tuesday morning, according to Fox News. He was reportedly arrested along with Householder adviser Jeffrey Longstreth, longtime Statehouse lobbyist Neil Clark, former Ohio Republican Party chairman and consultant Matthew Borges and Juan Cespedes, co-founder of The Oxley Group in Columbus.

The Department of Justice has refused to give any details about the arrests so far, saying that it will do so later in the day on Tuesday. FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren would only say that agents were carrying out “law enforcement activity” on Householder’s property, refusing to say anything further on the subject.

Householder is a veteran Republican lawmaker who was Ohio’s House Speaker from 2001-2004 before taking the position again in 2019. When he left office for the first time over a decade ago, he was under federal investigation for alleged money laundering and irregular campaign practices, but no charges were ever filed.

Householder made his return to Ohio politics in 2016, and he won a contentious fight last year to become Ohio’s House Speaker again, according to WLWT5.

Sources have been saying that Householder’s arrest was connected to House Bill 6, the FirstEnergy nuclear bailout bill that was passed by the legislature and signed last year by Governor Mike DeWine. The bill was a controversial one, with detractors saying it was bad for the environment.

“It’s an environmental nightmare,” Rep. David Leland (D – Columbus) said when it was passed last year. “This is over a billion dollars that’s going to go to two nuclear power plants and a coal plant in Indiana so there’s a lot of money at stake here.”

Others, however, supported the bill.

“House Bill 6 saves those plans, lowers tax bills and helps protect the environment,” said Rep. Jamie Callender (R – Concord), the sponsor of the bill.