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Federal Judge Allows Larry Householder More Time To Find A Lawyer

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder faces a federal charge of conspiracy to commit racketeering. He was arrested Tuesday, July 21, 2020.
John Minchillo
/
Associated Press
Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder faces a federal charge of conspiracy to commit racketeering. He was arrested Tuesday, July 21, 2020.

A federal judge has allowed former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder more time to find a lawyer to defend him against federal conspiracy charges related to an alleged $60 million bribery scheme.

Householder and four others are accused of shepherding $60 million in money from FirstEnergy, laundered through dark money groups, for personal and political gain. In exchange, Householder and his associates helped to pass and then defend HB6, a legislative bailout of two aging nuclear plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions.

Former Ohio GOP chair Matt Borges, lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes, and Householder adviser Jeff Longstreth all pleaded "not guilty" at a hearing earlier this month.

However, Householder requested a delay in his arraignments to find a new lawyer. He is charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, which is punishible by up to 20 years in prison.

An attorney temporarily representing Householder said Wednesday the ex-speaker needs still more time. Judge Timothy Black granted the request Thursday. Federal prosecutors did not oppose the motion.

Following his indictment last month, Householder was removed as Speaker in a unanimous vote by the Ohio House. However, the Glenford representative remains in the legislature, and is running unopposed for reelection this November.