Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder arrested in $60 million bribery case - News - The Columbus Dispatch - Columbus, OH
Category: News & PoliticsVia: jbb • 2 weeks ago • 9 comments
By: Rick Rouan (The Columbus Dispatch)
Rick Rouan The Columbus Dispatch Lucas Sullivan The Columbus Dispatch Marc Kovac The Columbus Dispatch Mark Williams The Columbus Dispatch Randy Ludlow The Columbus Dispatch
Jul 21, 2020 at 9:48 AMJul 21, 2020 at 12:35 PM
Federal officials arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and several others on Tuesday in connection with a $60 million bribery case.
U.S. Attorney David DeVillers' office would not discuss details of the case, but multiple sources confirmed Householder's arrest.
Former Ohio GOP Chairman Matt Borges, longtime Householder adviser Jeff Longstreth, and lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes also were arrested, the sources confirmed.
All are expected to be arraigned in Columbus today via remote magistrate in CincinnaDeVillers' Office and the FBI plan to announce charges later today in the case, which a press release said involves a state official and "associates."
A dispatcher for the Perry County sheriff's office said deputies were assisting the FBI this morning "in the area" of a farm belonging to Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder. The dispatcher declined to specify if the location was the Householder farm.
Agents made the arrests of Householder, Borges and Clark this morning at their residences. It is unclear where the arrests of Longstreth and Cespedes took place.
The arrests come after a nearly two-year investigation into bribes and money laundering by the FBI, according to a federal investigator involved in the arrests.
The investigation included dinners and meetings between undercover federal agents and Householder and Clark where the men made incriminating statements about illegal activity and bribes.
The investigator said more arrests connected to the investigation are expected.
All the men arrested are expected to appear via video conference this afternoon to be arraigned in federal court.
They are expected to then be released on their own recognizance pending that hearing this afternoon.
A Perry County sheriff's deputy was posted at the entrance to Householder's farm in Glenford on Tuesday morning. About a dozen cars, including the deputy's cruiser left the scene shortly after 10 a.m.
A press briefing has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. today at the U.S. Attorney's office in Columbus.
Householder is a longtime, large figure among Ohio Republicans who is on his second stint as Ohio House speaker. He last served as speaker from 2001 to 2004, before he left the House because of term limits.
During his first speaker term, he and aides were the subject of an FBI investigation into allegations they received kickbacks and pushed legislation in exchange for campaign contributions. No charges were filed in the case, which ended in 2006.
Check back with Dispatch.com on this developing story. Information from the Cincinnati Enquirer was used for this report.