COLUMBUS, Ohio — On the same day Ohio GOP House Speaker Rep. Larry Householder and four associates were arrested Tuesday in connection with a $60 million federal bribery case, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose referred 19 "apparent or alleged violations" of state campaign finance laws to the Ohio Elections Commission.
The violations are connected to the 82-page complaint released Tuesday against Householder, adviser Jeffrey Longstreth, lobbyist Neil Clark, former Ohio GOP Chair Matthew Borges and Oxley Group co-founder Juan Cespedes. U.S. Attorney David DeVillers described the ploy, which involved a taxpayer-funded bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants, as “likely the largest bribery scheme ever perpetrated against the state of Ohio.”
LaRose said among the alleged violations of Ohio’s campaign finance laws are:
- acceptance of direct corporate contributions.
- failure to file complete and accurate campaign finance statements.
- converting campaign funds for personal benefit.
- transfer of campaign committee funds into accounts not "separate from a candidate's personal or business account."
“For those of us who answer the call to public service with a sincere desire to serve as good stewards of the public trust, today’s events are deeply disappointing," said LaRose. "Sadly, today’s Criminal Complaint is a reminder that some enter public life seeking to accumulate personal power and to enrich themselves. Those who do so are not fit to hold public office."
LaRose didn't stop there, saying the 19 violations "likely do not represent a comprehensive list of violations of Ohio laws by the named defendants."
LaRose, his elections law team and campaign finance division will continue to review campaign finance reports and make additional referrals.
Read the referral sent to the Ohio Elections Commission in the viewer below: