Leading Ohio Republicans have called on Speaker of the House Larry Householder (R-Glenford) to resign after his recent arrest for allegedly participating in a $60 million bribery scheme.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) arrested Householder along with Matt Borges, the former Ohio Republican Party chairman; Jeffrey Longstreth, a longtime political strategist for Householder; Neil Clark, the former budget director for the Ohio Republican Caucus; and Juan Cespedes, a Columbus lobbyist.
These five men are alleged to have “worked to corruptly ensure that HB 6 went into effect by defeating a ballot initiative to overturn the legislation. The Enterprise received approximately $60 million into Generation Now from an energy company and its affiliates during the relevant period,” according to the DOJ press release.
After Householder and others were arrested, Gov. Mike DeWine said Householder should resign in what he called a “sad day for Ohio.”
“I am deeply concerned about the allegations of wrongdoing in the criminal complaint issued today by the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” the governor said. “Every American has the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Because of the nature of these charges, it will be impossible for Speaker Householder to effectively lead the Ohio House of Representatives; therefore, I am calling on Speaker Householder to resign immediately.
On top of DeWine’s announcement, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost chimed in and echoed a statement similar to DeWine’s message.
“Larry Householder sold out the people of Ohio in exchange for power and dirty money. The 81-page sworn affidavit filed today shows plainly he cannot be trusted to act in the public interest, or trusted with public authority.
“He is entitled to a presumption of innocence regarding the criminality of his acts, but he is entitled to no presumption of continuance in office. He should resign immediately,” the attorney general said. If he refuses, the House should eject him under Article II, section 6 of the Ohio Constitution.”
Householder’s colleague Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) also said the speaker of the house should leave office.
“The allegations made today are very detailed, they are very serious, and they are very troubling to me, and undoubtedly, to the people of Ohio. Every member of the Ohio legislature has a sacred trust with the citizens of this state, and the people deserve the honest services of their elected representatives,” Obhof said.
The seriousness and gravity of the allegations cast a dark shadow over the People’s House. It is clear that he cannot continue to lead the Ohio House of Representatives,” the senate president concluded. “He should resign.”
Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken, who replaced Borges after he was fired by President Donald Trump before the 2016 election, released a video condemning Householder. She said he should resign.
“I understand and respect the presumption of innocence. All charges filed must be proved in court. These are basic legal rights. However, there is no right to hold public office. This is a privilege extended by the people of Ohio to officeholders,” Timken said.
“It’s a higher calling and requires a higher level of responsibility,” she added. “That’s why I’m calling on Larry Householder to step down as Speaker of the House and resign as a legislator.”
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