New hearing set for ex-Ohio House speaker in bribery scheme

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2020

Republican Rep. Larry Householder and four others are accused of shepherding $60 million in energy company money for personal and political use, in exchange for passing a legislative bailout of two nuclear power plants and then derailing an attempt to place a rejection of the bailout on the ballot.

Four defendants pleaded not guilty earlier this month to the charge that they conspired as part of what one defendant called an “unholy alliance” aimed at saving the aging plants.

A judge allowed Householder to delay court appearances Aug. 6 and Aug. 20 to allow more time to find a new attorney. In a federal court filing, Householder’s current attorney, Dave Thomas, said he must drop off the case because of a conflict of interest involving another client represented by his firm.

In agreeing to a delay on Aug. 20, federal Judge Timothy Black urged Householder “to expedite his efforts to secure new counsel, so as to avoid the need for any further continuances.”

Black scheduled Householder’s new hearing for Sept. 3. Thomas declined to comment.