'Racketeering, bribery and money laundering': Ohio House votes to expel Republican ex-speaker facing federal charges

'Racketeering, bribery and money laundering': Ohio House votes to expel Republican ex-speaker facing federal charges
Mike DeWine in 2018, Wikimedia Commons

In July 2020, Republican Larry Householder, then speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, was arrested in a federal bribery case along with four of his associates. And this week, the Ohio House opted to expel him in a bipartisan 75-21 vote.

Republicans have a majority in the Ohio House, but during a time of extreme partisanship in the United States, enough Republicans and Democrats in the Ohio House were in agreement that Householder needed to go.

In the Associated Press, reporters Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Farnoush Amiri and Julie Carr Smyth note, "Defiant to the end, Householder reiterated his innocence in a House floor speech before the vote and predicted again he would be acquitted of accusations that he orchestrated a $60 million bribery scheme meant to approve legislation to prop up two nuclear power plants and then kill a ballot issue trying to overturn the law."

After the vote, the former Ohio House Speaker told reporters, "I can tell you this much: fellow elected officials who didn't like public citizen Householder are really not going to like private citizen Householder."

Rep. Brian Stewart, before the vote, urged fellow Republicans in the Ohio House to "do the right thing" and expel Householder, saying, "If racketeering, bribery and money laundering do not constitute disorderly conduct, then frankly, nothing ever could."

If convicted, Householder could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

Welsh-Huggins, Amiri and Smyth explain, "Householder and four associates were arrested in July in an investigation connected to the nuclear bailout legislation, House Bill 6, which contained a $1 billion ratepayer-funded rescue that would have added a new fee to every electricity bill in the state and directed over $150 million a year through 2026 to the plants near Cleveland and Toledo."

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