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Democratic Lawmaker Wants Records, Investigation On Former Ohio Utilities Commission Chair And FirstEnergy

Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) and Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) called for Gov. Mike DeWine to fire two top aides in response to new information to come out related to the nuclear bailout bribery case.
Andy Chow
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) and Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) called for Gov. Mike DeWine to fire two top aides in response to new information to come out related to the nuclear bailout bribery case.

And he said he's prepared to go to court if he has to.

A Democratic state lawmaker says he wants more information on the relationship between the former chair of the state’s utility regulating panel and FirstEnergy.

It's the latest in the federal nuclear power plant bailout case that’s seen several plea deals, while Republican former House Speaker Larry Householder or former Ohio GOP chair Matt Borges maintain their innocence.

Rep. Jeffrey Crossman (D-Parma) wants an independent investigation into FirstEnergy and Sam Randazzo when he was Public Utilities Commission chair. Randazzo resigned in November after his home was raided by the FBI.

Crossman said he met with current PUCO chair Jenifer French last week. In a letter to her following up on that conversation, Crossman said he wants her to launch an ethics investigation into Randazzo, to file a bar complaint against him as an attorney, and to release Randazzo’s emails and other records on the Icebreaker wind project in Lake Erie that Crossman says Randazzo tried to kill.

"We need to get clarification as to what was happening and when during his ten years co chair, because it seems to have conflicted with his duties as PUCO chair," Crossman said. “I expect to get documents as requested. If I don't, then we'll take a look at filing a lawsuit."

Crossman said the PUCO has started some internal investigations, but he said, "internal investigations smell like a cover up to me. We need to hire an independent investigator that's going to consolidate all these investigations, turn over every rock and every leaf and figure out what exactly happened during the time that Sam Randazzo was there and apparently working at FirstEnergy's behest."

FirstEnergy admitted to paying a $4.3 million bribe to Randazzo, who has not been charged.

A Franklin County judge has ruled that Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost can continue to move to seize $8 million in Randazzo’s assets.

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