Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) 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.
“At the beginning of the 133rd General Assembly, the chamber was embroiled in scandal, and Speaker Householder campaigned that he’d lead with integrity, cooperation, inclusion and bring a sense of professionalism back to the People’s House. He failed to live up to those promises.
“Now we’ve come full circle, again being given a choice to restore integrity to the People’s House, and after two Republican speaker scandals in three years, we had no choice but to act. Make no mistake, there is no joy in seeing a former Ohio speaker removed from office in disgrace, but this is our opportunity to stand against corruption and to turn a page on this dark chapter in Ohio history and begin to rebuild the People’s trust in a government that’s supposed to work for them.”
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.
Democrats introduced a resolution to expel Householder earlier this month. They have also introduced bills to root out Statehouse corruption, including the Ohio Anti-Corruption Act, which would require dark money groups to identify their contributors and disclose their spending, and 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.