The Republican speaker of Ohio’s House of Representatives was arrested on Tuesday, as reported by Breitbart.
FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren confirmed “law enforcement activity” at Larry Householder’s farm in Glenford and he was reportedly arrested on charges stemming from a $60 million bribery investigation.
“The right side of history”
Authorities believe he was involved in a scheme to obtain $1.3 billion in bailout money that would benefit FirstEnergy Solutions, a firm based in Ohio.
As Breitbart also reported, four additional individuals were arrested in connection with the probe — including former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matthew Borges.
In addition to his latest role as a lobbyist, Borges recently joined forces with former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci to launch a political action committee opposing President Donald Trump.
A now-deleted Twitter account described Right Side PAC as a group consisting of “Republicans on the right side of history — working to elect Joe Biden in 2020.”
Axios described the committee’s initial target audience as “voters in the battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida.”
“Sets an example”
As for Householder, he was allegedly responsible for hatching the plot to funnel more than $60 million from the energy company through a nonprofit organization established for that purpose, as USA Today reported. In exchange for the alleged bribes, investigators believe he worked to secure a massive financial bailout benefiting the firm.
The accusations contained within an 82-page complaint let to immediate calls for his resignation, but he has said that he has no intention of stepping down.
Fremont Mayor Danny Sanchez is among the local elected officials speaking out after news of the scandal erupted. He called it a “sad” day for Ohio and a difficult time for elected officials.
“It’s like being a police officer,” he said. “Ninety-nine out of 100 go to work to do their job and you have one person that sets a precedence that sets an example that makes the other officers or elected officials look bad.”
A preliminary hearing is set for next month. While Householder and all those caught up in this scandal are entitled to the presumption of innocence, the prevalence of such allegations across party lines is a stark reminder of how corrupt the political realm can become.