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Former Ohio GOP spokesman appeals 20-year sentence in corruption case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives Larry Householder appealed 20 years imprisonment Wednesday, nearly two weeks after he was convicted of masterminding largest corruption scheme in the history of the state.

The 64-year-old Republican has been in county jail since a federal judge sentenced him to the maximum sentence permitted by federal law on racketeering charges on June 29 and is awaiting appeal.

Federal prosecutors had asked for 16 to 20 years in prison for Householder, while his attorneys had asked for 12 to 18 months on the grounds that he was humiliated and broken by the ordeal of his highly publicized arrest, weeks-long trial and conviction.

US District Judge Timothy Black said his sentencing decision was influenced by Householder’s lack of remorse and instead focused his plea for leniency on the impact his incarceration would have on his wife, children and friends.

After a seven-week test this winter, a jury convicted Householder orchestrated the $60 million bribery scheme secretly orchestrated by Akron-based utility FirstEnergy Corp. was funded to secure Householder’s power to elect his allies and then pass a $1.3 billion nuclear bailout package and quash a referendum to repeal the law with a dirty-tricks campaign.

Lobbyist Matt Borges, former leader of the Ohio Republican Party, was also convicted of involvement in the plan. Borges has also weighed a potential appeal after receiving the minimum 5 years in prison recommended by prosecutors, and he has until Thursday to file an application.

Larry Householder, the former Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, has appealed the 20-year sentence he received for plotting the biggest corruption plot in the state's history.
Larry Householder, the former Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, has appealed the 20-year sentence he received for plotting the biggest corruption plot in the state’s history.

Householder was arrested in 2021. At the time, he was one of Ohio’s most powerful politicians, a twice-elected public speaker with a keen political acumen that his members said at times bordered on bullying and threats.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives ousted him from his leadership post shortly after the indictment, but Householder refused to step down for nearly a year before being expelled from the chamber in 2009 a historic vote.

The investigation into the bribery scheme remains open, and several fired FirstEnergy executives, as well as the former head of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, could still face indictments.

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