OH lawmakers remove House speaker from leadership post

Rep. Larry Householder is congratulated after his election as Speaker of the Ohio House in January 2019

With Householder absent, speaker pro tempore Jim Butler (R-Oakwood) called the Ohio House into session.

According to a statement from Republican House leaders: "Today's strong bipartisan vote to remove Larry Householder as Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives is not a decision any member of the House took lightly, but it was clear that Mr. Householder is unable to effectively lead the House". Proceedings were brief: The motion to remove Householder as Speaker passed 90-0, and the House then went into recess.

Householder, his long-time adviser Jeffrey Longstreth, former Ohio Republican Party chairman Matt Borges and lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes could each face up to 20 years in prison if they're convicted for their alleged work to pass the bailout and block attempts to overturn it, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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

As Speaker, Householder secured the passage of HB6, which meant to save two failing two nuclear plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions.

Householder and several associates were allegedly paid tens of millions of dollars to pass HB 6 and to prevent a referendum against the law from coming before OH voters.

Householder also personally received over $400,000 through Generation Now, used to settle a personal lawsuit, pay off credit card debt and pay for a house in Florida.

Householder, a political aide and three lobbyists were arrested last week in what U.S. Attorney David DeVillers described as "likely the largest bribery, money-laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people in the state of OH".

"I called for Larry Householder to resign on the day the U.S. Attorney's office revealed the details of the conspiracy that led to the passage of HB 6", state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown, said in a news release.

Cupp said one of his first priorities will be a repeal of the nuclear bailout bill, which several lawmakers are drafting and Gov. Mike DeWine said he supports because he feels the process to create the law was tainted.

The Republican-managed Residence did not vote on no matter whether to expel Householder from the legislature, WOSU reviews, and he is functioning unopposed for reelection in the slide.

The fight for his replacement is already underway, however. But it's unclear who will succeed him.

The vote comes more than two years after Republican Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) was elected in a marathon eleven rounds of splintered Republican voting following the resignation of Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville), who quit while under an FBI investigation related to payday lending legislation but no charges were ever filed. A unanimous public vote to make it official is expected later Thursday.

This article will be updated with more information as the story develops.



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