House strips Householder of speakership

Republican Ohio state Rep. Larry Householder of District 72 sits at the head of a legislative session as Speaker of the House in Columbus. The House is prepared to take a vote Thursday

Republican Larry Householder has been removed as speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives by a unanimous vote, after his arrest last week on a federal racketeering charge related to the nuclear bailout law he pushed a year ago. On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted Householder with conspiracy to dedicate racketeering, a cost punishable by up to 20 a long time in prison.

Cupp replaces Larry Householder, whom legislators unanimously ousted from his leadership position earlier Thursday after Householder was charged in what the Federal Bureau of Investigation has described as a $60 million bribery scheme.

The vote for Cupp among Republicans wasn't unanimous. He was voted out 90-0 within minutes of the meeting starting. For now, he still retains his seat in the GOP-led Legislature. The conspiracy's chosen candidates, most of whom won their races, then all voted to support Householder's bid for House Speaker in 2019.

The four men on Thursday were formally accused of receiving $60 million from FirstEnergy to pass a $1.3 billion bailout of two nuclear power plants.

Three other potential candidates to be the next speaker - Reps. Nine didn't vote, including Householder.

State Rep. Larry Householder, pictured leaving the federal courthouse after an initial hearing on July 21, was removed and replaced as Ohio House Speaker following his indictment on Thursday.

"There is a responsibility that comes with holding such a title and leadership role, and I commend the House members for taking recent allegations seriously and moving quickly on this issue", Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken said in a statement.

"Dark money is a breeding ground for corruption", U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers said in a statement.

Borges involvement in the case "has been wildly overstated", said his attorney, Karl Schneider.

Messages seeking comment were left with the other defendants' attorneys. "He was never part of any would-be enterprise and we expect when the facts play out this attempted over-reach to include him will fail". The FBI investigation is ongoing.

Rosenberger wasn't charged, and a lawyer for him has said the former lawmaker did nothing wrong. Yost said Gov. Mike DeWine has the authority to call the House into session, which he has said he will do if necessary.

"House Bill 6, whether good policy or not, was founded on and funded by a scheme to defraud taxpayers and circumvent the will of the people of our state".



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