GOP Ohio House Speaker, Former State GOP Chair, Lobbyists In Custody For Alleged $60M Bribery Case

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports:

Federal officials arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others on Tuesday morning in connection with a $60 million bribery case. U.S. Attorney David DeVillers’ office would not discuss details of the case, but a source involved in the investigation confirmed Householder’s arrest to The Enquirer.

Also arrested, according to the source: Neil Clark, founder of Grant Street Consultants and once called by USA Today “one of the best-connected lobbyists in Columbus;” former Ohio Republican Party chair and consultant Matthew Borges; Juan Cespedes, co-founder of The Oxley Group in Columbus; and Jeffrey Longstreth, adviser to Householder.

The Dayton Daily News reports:

Evan Machan, communications director for the Ohio Republican Party, said he would withhold comment until after the federal news conference today. Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, will not be issuing a statement, said John Fortney, press secretary for the Ohio Senate Majority Caucus.

“President Obhof chairs JLEC, the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee, and cannot comment on the case,” Fortney said. “We have session today at 1:30pm and will continue to conduct the Senate’s business. All questions about today’s headlines are referred to the House.”

The Associated Press reports:

A federal source confirms the arrest of House Speaker Larry Householder, republican strategist Matt Borges, Jeff Longstreth, Juan Cespedes and Neil Clark in a multi-million dollar bribery scheme apparently involving House Bill 6. A sealed indictment was requested by federal authorities.

2019’s House Bill 6 was a “Clean Air Act” that contained a bailout for two nuclear power plants managed by FirstEnergy. There was a controversial effort to block it from going into effect that included accusations of assault on petitioners, bribery, and scare ads involving China.