The governor’s statement issued Thursday also mentioned the former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo, appointed by DeWine in February 2019 who resigned in November 2020 days after an FBI raid of his home. The PUCO regulates telecommunications, natural gas and electric companies in the state.
Randazzo has been heavily involved in Ohio energy policy for the past five decades. An attorney, Randazzo also owns a consulting business that did work for FirstEnergy Solutions, now called Energy Harbor, which is a former subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp.
Top executives at FirstEnergy paid $4 million in early 2019 to end a consulting contract with someone subsequently appointed to be a full-time state regulator overseeing electricity distribution rates, according to a November 2020 company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Randazzo wasn’t mentioned by name in the document.
“As I have consistently said, we understood that Sam Randazzo had worked for manufacturing companies, energy companies and consumers, and that he had done work for FirstEnergy,” DeWine stated “Sam Randazzo was a well-known subject-matter expert in energy issues.
“If, as stated in the court documents, Sam Randazzo committed acts to improperly benefit FirstEnergy, his motives were not known by me or my staff,” DeWine said.