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Sec. of State: Ex-Speaker Householder, associates violated campaign finance law 162 times

LaRose refers allegations to Elections Commission
Posted at 6:08 PM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-27 19:46:15-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Secretary of State Frank LaRose referred 162 alleged violations of state campaign finance laws Thursday to the Ohio Elections Commission relating to Rep. Larry Householder’s campaign to become Speaker of the Ohio House.

“Our campaign finance & elections team has spent countless hours digging deep into campaign finance reports -- connecting the dots and building on the work done by the FBI as detailed in their criminal complaint,” LaRose said Thursday in a news release. “Today’s referral to the Ohio Elections Commission is the next step in continuing to hold Rep. Householder and his cronies accountable.”

LaRose already referred 19 items on July 21 related to the criminal complaints against Householder and his associates Jeff Longstreth, Neil Clark, Matthew Borges and Juan Cespedes.

At the time, LaRose's office said there were likely more violations to be found, and his elections law team and his campaign finance division would "continue to review the relevant campaign finance reports and make additional referrals as violations become known.”

Here's what they found:

  • "Individuals solicited and corporations gave corporate money to aid candidates for election in the 2018 Primary, 2020 General and 2020 Primary elections."
  • "Individuals and entities established shell companies and utilized existing entities to knowingly conceal or misrepresent contributions given and received."
  • "Individuals converted funds for personal use and knowingly gave funds to other beneficiaries of a campaign fund and other persons."
  • "Individuals and entities gave money in connection with an issue for prohibited purposes, including placing another to serve as an agent in the opposition committee, paying petition gatherers to improperly discharge their duties, and using intimidation or threats to influence individuals to refrain from signing petitions. Individuals circulated and filed a misleading petition and failed to file required disclosures."

The Republican speaker of the Ohio House and his four associates were arrested on July 21 in a $60 million federal bribery case connected to a taxpayer-funded bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants.

Click to read LaRose's full referral to the Ohio Elections Commission here.

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