The FirstEnergy Board of Directors has fired its CEO Chuck Jones after an internal investigation into the ongoing federal racketeering case. The announcement came just hours after two defendants in that case entered a plea agreement in court saying they're guilty of the accusations.
A statement from FirstEnergy says an internal investigation found that Jones violated certain company policies and its code of conduct.
Federal prosecutors allege a utility widely believed to be FirstEnergy funneled millions of dollars into a dark money which was used to get a nuclear power plant bailout passed by lawmakers.
The nuclear power plants, Davis-Besse and Perry, were owned by a FirstEnergy subsidiary, FirstEnergy Solutions. This year the company separated from FirstEnergy under the new name, Energy Harbor.
Two defendants have now admitted to playing a role in the $61 million scheme, saying the money was also used to help get Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford) elected as House speaker.
Two other vice presidents of the company, Michael Dowling and Dennis Chack, were also fired.
Jones said on an earnings call in late July, days after Householder and the other defendants were arrested, "I believe that FirstEnergy acted properly in this matter and we intend to cooperate fully in the investigation."
The board has placed Steven E. Strah as acting CEO of the company.