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“Former PUCO Chairman Randazzo charged in 11-count indictment related to HB 6 scandal”

On December 4, 2023, former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Chairman Sam
Randazzo was charged in an 11-count indictment related to the $61 million scandal surrounding
House Bill 6, uncovered in July of 2020.

The FBI and US Attorney’s office remained vigilant in their ongoing investigation of Randazzo’s
alleged crimes involving fraud and embezzlement, some of which are just coming to light through the indictments.

While this indictment was a long time coming, there is hope it will be a step forward in clearing the cloud of corruption hanging over energy policy in Ohio and ending the cycle of deceit perpetrated by FirstEnergy and their allies.

The 11 counts against Randazzo include: one count of conspiring to commit travel act bribery and honest services wire fraud, two counts of travel act bribery, two counts of
honest services wire fraud, one count of wire fraud and five counts of making illegal monetary transactions, according to the release.

How did we get here?

For years, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has been stacked against the consumers of our state. It has instead been focused more on increasing the profits of Ohio’s regulated utilities and offering opportunities for individuals to line their own pockets at the expense of our families.

In July 2020, the US Attorney’s office shined the spotlight on
long-standing issues surrounding energy policy issues in Ohio.

The $61 million bribery and corruption scandal around House Bill 6 remained in the spotlight through the trial and sentencing of former House Speaker Larry Householder and former GOP Party Chairman Matt Borges. Householder was found guilty and is currently serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison, while Borgess was also found guilty and is serving a 5-year sentence.

While political operatives Juan Cespedes and Jeffrey Longstreth have entered guilty pleas but have not been sentenced.

No FirstEnergy official has been indicted at this time.

Now, three years and multiple prison sentences later, the lack of transparency and undue influence of regulated utilities remains.

There are still no PUCO Commissioners with consumer advocacy experience. Our energy policies remain the worst in the nation.

The Rise and Fall of Sam Randazzo

Through a deferred prosecution agreement accepted by FirstEnergy Corporation, evidence has been made public of a $4.3 million bribe paid to former PUCO Chairman Sam Randazzo. The paper trail shows Randazzo received this payment “at the request or for the benefit of FirstEnergy as a consequence of receiving such payment.”

Emails obtained by the FBI also show that Randazzo worked on House Bill 6, the nuclear and coal bailout bill that gutted the state’s renewable energy programs, and fought against a citizen-led referendum effort while leading the PUCO.

A Timeline of Corruption

February 1, 2019
Information warning

Ohio Citizen Action, Ohio environmental groups, and others send volumes of information warning Governor DeWine about Randazzo’s ties to FirstEnergy.

February 4th
Randazzo appointed

Randazzo is appointed by Governor DeWine

June 5th
Randazzo testifies

Randazzo testified on House Bill 6.

July 23rd
House Bill 6 passes

House Bill 6 passes and signed by Governor.

May 21, 2020
The poison pill

Poison pill on Icebreaker Offshore wind project inserted.

July 21st
Scandal breaks

News of House Bill 6 scandal breaks. 

August 13th launches

OCPA launches “” website.

November 16th
FBI raids

FBI raids Columbus home of Sam Randazzo.

November 20th
Randazzo resigns

Sam Randazzo resigns. 

May 3, 2021
The big selloff

News breaks that Randazzo is selling off his properties. 

July 22nd
The big bribe

FirstEnergy provides evidence of paying $4.3 million bribe to Randazzo. 

August 3, 2022
Randazzo influence

Emails released show Randazzo’s influence on HB 6. 

December 4, 2023
Randazzo indicted for bribery & embezzlement

Sam Randazzo, who previously chaired the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, has been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, wire fraud and other crimes linked to Ohio’s ongoing corruption scandal, along with embezzlement charges.

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