DeWine said it was clear that a tremendous amount of money was being spent on advertising in support of HB6, but he had no indication anything illegal was potentially going on. He said he first learned of the FBI investigation when the news broke Tuesday. He said he is not aware of anything implicating his administration; federal prosecutors also said Tuesday the criminal allegations don’t appear to involve the governor’s office.
“I had no suspicion of any illegal activity,” DeWine said, calling the details laid out in the federal complaint “a sickening story.”
DeWine has stated Householder should step down as speaker. He said Wednesday that the House should handle Householder’s removal. But if the governor needs to call a special session of the General Assembly, “I certainly would not hesitate to do that at all.”
He also urged the General Assembly to find ways to bring more transparency to the elections process.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted added that current lawmakers could look at proposals he put forward when he was in the Ohio Senate. “This has been a problem for years and there are solutions to it,” Husted said.
Householder and four others are facing federal charges in connection to a $60 million bribe paid to pass and uphold a nuclear plant bailout, according to investigators.
Householder was charged with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering scheme and was released on bond after appearing in federal court Tuesday.
Political consultant Jeff Longstreth, lobbyist Neil Clark, lobbyist Juan Cespedes and former Ohio GOP Chairman Matthew Borges are each charged with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering scheme.