(Bloomberg) – Officials said they plan to file a $ 60 million bribe charge in a public corruption case Tuesday, in which press reports include the arrest of Ohio House spokesman Larry Householder and the rescue of two nuclear power plants of Energy Harbor Corp. Clues .
U.S. lawyer David M. DeVillers and the Federal Bureau of Investigation scheduled a press conference at 2:30 p.m. in Columbus to explain charges related to “a $ 60 million conspiracy against public corruption,” an online press release said.
The investigation relates to the passing of a Ohio law last year that rescued two nuclear power plants, the Toledo Blade reported, citing a source it didn’t identify. FirstEnergy Solutions, a former subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., changed its name to Energy Harbor when it emerged from Chapter 11 earlier this year.
The head of household and four other people were arrested, Cleveland.com reported, citing undisclosed sources and media reports. A spokeswoman for Householder did not immediately respond to phone and email messages.
Energy Harbor shares even fell 21%. First Energy fell 10%.
While First Energy no longer owns the Ohio nuclear power plants, the investigation is likely to weigh on the company’s stock in the near future as the market assesses the potential impact, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Sophie Karp said in a research note.
FirstEnergy and Energy Harbor employees did not immediately respond to emails and phone calls asking for comments.
Arrests are made in less than a week. Exelon Corp.’s Commonwealth Edison unit admitted bribery related to Illinois lobbying practices.
The arrests in Ohio come after a nearly two-year FBI investigation into bribery and money laundering, the Columbus Dispatch said, citing a federal investigator involved in the arrests.
The investigation included dinners and meetings between undercover federal agents and householders and a lobbyist in Columbus, at which the men made incriminating statements about illegal activities and bribes, the newspaper said. Further arrests are expected, the newspaper said.
The Ohio law, which Householder advocated for, was enacted in 2019 and provided $ 150 million annually for the Davis-Besse and Perry plants that the company wanted to close without help.
Ohio funded the measure by cutting unprecedented wind and sun support. While New York, New Jersey, and Illinois all subsidized nuclear energy as part of their clean energy strategies, Ohio was the first country to do so by directly ripping off renewable energy support.
(Headline revision updates, adding reports from Columbus Dispatch.)
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