The Ohio House of Representatives voted to expel one of their members, former Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), following Householder’s indictment in an alleged $60 million federal bribery scheme.
Republican members advocated for the vote to be held on the House floor, rather than waiting for the expulsion legislation to pass through various committees. The historic, bipartisan 75-21 vote approved a resolution that contended Householder was not qualified for office.
Householder and four other individuals were arrested in July, related to a taxpayer-funded bailout of two nuclear power plants in Ohio. After FBI agents raided his home, the Department of Justice described the plot as likely the largest bribery and money-laundering scheme that had “ever been perpetrated against the people of the state of Ohio.” In exchange for supporting the bailout legislation, Householder received funds to support his candidacy, his allies, and prevent a ballot measure to end the bailout.
Many officials throughout the state commended the House of Representatives for standing up to the exposed corruption. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a tweet, “Justice, decency and common sense gave a standing ovation to today’s vote to expel Mr. Householder from the People’s House.”
Justice, decency and common sense gave a standing ovation to today’s vote to expel Mr. Householder from the People’s House.
Res ipsa loquitur.
— Attorney General Dave Yost (@Yost4Ohio) June 16, 2021
However, Householder has repeatedly denied the claims related to the corruption probe. On the House floor, he said, “I have not nor have I ever taken a bribe or solicited or been solicited for taking a bribe.” Additionally, he argues that the charges and move to expel him from office were “politically motivated.” He contends that allegations should not be enough to remove him from office.
If convicted of the charges, Householder could face up to 20 years in prison.
The Ohio House of Representatives has not expelled a member since 1857.
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