State Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) today issued a statement on the expulsion from the Ohio House of former Republican Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) for his alleged role in a $60 million public bribery and corruption scheme to pass and prevent a referendum on a billion-dollar corporate bailout in 2019.
“Expelling Mr. Householder is an important first step towards restoring trust with Ohioans, but it took far too long to get here,” said Rep. Russo. “These criminal allegations involving Mr. Householder are a prime example of ‘pay-to-play’ and are, unfortunately, part of a much larger pattern of corruption here at the Ohio Statehouse. We need to pass real, commonsense reforms and send a clear message that we work for you, the taxpayer—not to enrich ourselves or corporate special interests. There are still miles to go if we are to address the root causes of corruption and pass the desperately needed campaign finance reforms included in the Ohio Anti-Corruption Act.”
Householder and several close associates have been indicted for their involvement in what has been described as the largest public bribery scheme in Ohio history. The active criminal case stands as the largest open corruption investigation in any statehouse in the nation.
Representative Russo is the sponsor of the Ohio Anti-Corruption Act, which would require dark money groups (such as the organizations implicated in the House Bill 6 scandal) to identify their contributors and disclose their spending, addressing some of the root causes of corruption. A resolution to expel Householder was introduced by Democrats earlier this month. Democrats also introduced the Public Corruption Repayment Act, which would require legislators to reimburse the state for compensation received between the time they were indicted for a felony involving public corruption and their conviction.