Two former executives of FirstEnergy and a former public utility commissioner have been indicted in a multimillion-dollar public corruption scandal, Ohio’s legal professional basic, Dave Yost, mentioned on Monday.

Charles Jones, who was FirstEnergy’s chief government from 2015-20, and Michael Dowling, a former vp of exterior affairs on the firm, are accused of paying Samuel Randazzo, a former chairman of Ohio’s Public Utilities Fee, greater than $4.3 million to permit the corporate to overcharge clients, amongst different offenses.

Collectively, the three males are charged with 27 counts, together with theft, bribery and fraud. The costs had been filed on Friday however weren’t made public till Mr. Yost announced them on Monday.

The indictments are the primary towards FirstEnergy executives in maybe the biggest public corruption scandal in Ohio’s historical past, one which has already landed a former lawmaker in jail. State and federal officers have accused the corporate, an Ohio-based electrical utility that serves six million clients, of paying state lawmakers and regulators tens of millions of {dollars} in trade for subsidies and different favorable therapy.

Mr. Randazzo, the utility fee’s chairman from April 2019 to November 2020, is accused of taking bribes from FirstEnergy after which lobbying for the corporate. The indictment says he accepted the cash as “consulting companies” via two shell firms, Sustainability Funding Alliance of Ohio and IEU-Ohio Administration, which the indictment additionally names.

Federal prosecutors charged Mr. Randazzo in December with parallel accusations. He pleaded not responsible to these prices and awaits trial.

The scandal got here to gentle in 2020 after federal officers arrested Ohio’s Home speaker on the time, Larry L. Householder. In federal courtroom in March, Mr. Householder was convicted of accepting a $60 million bribe from FirstEnergy in trade for passing Home Invoice 6, a $1.3 billion bailout for 2 troubled nuclear energy crops the corporate operates. Mr. Householder was sentenced in June to twenty years in jail.

A FirstEnergy spokeswoman, Jennifer Younger, mentioned the corporate had cooperated with legislation enforcement. “At this time, FirstEnergy is a unique, stronger firm with new management, a sound technique and a best-in-class compliance program,” she mentioned.



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