COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two former top FirstEnergy executives and the state’s former top utilities regulator all have been indicted on state charges in a bribery scandal, Attorney General Dave Yost and other officials announced on Monday
Former FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones and Michael Dowling, who previously led the Akron-based power company’s lobbying efforts, were indicted on Friday.
While the two previously have been referenced in filing in a related federal case against FirstEnergy and others, the new state charges mark the first time either have faced criminal charges. FirstEnergy previously admitted to paying bribes as part of an agreement to avoid federal charges as a corporation, including payments to former Public Utilities of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo and to former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder in exchange for House Bill 6, 2019 legislation that was worth more than $1 billion to FirstEnergy. Randazzo, who was indicted in December on related federal charges, also was charged Friday.
Here is a copy of the indictment. Mobile users can click here for a PDF.
State investigators said Dowling, Jones and Randazzo “hijacked” Ohio’s laws regulating FirstEnergy and other utility companies.
The charges were filed Friday, but weren’t unsealed until Yost announced them Monday.
The indictments announced on Monday are the latest development in a yearslong corruption scandal that already has sent two people, including a former Ohio House speaker, to prison and charges against several others.
Andrew Tobias covers state politics and government for cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer
Jeremy Pelzer contributed to this story