Will Republicans expel indicted former speaker from the Ohio House?

After state Rep. Larry Householder’s arrest and indictment on federal corruption charges in July, lawmakers removed the Perry County Republican as Ohio House speaker but did not vote to expel him from the General Assembly.

Lima Republican Robert Cupp, who was named Householder’s replacement as speaker, told reporters that the state constitution only allows expulsion once and Householder was unopposed for re-election in November. Removal last year would have used that one-time-only play, Cupp said at the time.

Householder, who has pleaded not guilty to federal racketeering charges in what prosecutors call the biggest public bribery case in state history, was re-elected. He will return to Columbus on Monday to be sworn into office alongside 98 other state representatives.

Cupp did not respond to inquiries on Sunday about whether he would call for an expulsion vote.

A two-thirds vote — 66 votes — is required, according to the state constitution. Removal is automatic upon conviction of a felony, according to state law.

Last year, Cupp failed to muster a consensus among his GOP members over how to deal with the controversial energy law at the center of the corruption case. In the end, lawmakers took no action to repeal, delay or modify House Bill 6.

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