Larry Householder Says He Won't Resign While Facing Federal Trial
Former Ohio Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) was back at work in the Ohio House on Wednesday, after his fellow Republicans to discuss whether he should be ejected from the legislature as he awaits trial on federal corruption charges.
Householder, who was attended that caucus meeting, says he’s not resigning.
"I'm qualified to serve and I was elected to serve and I intend to serve the people of the 72nd House District of the state of Ohio to the best of my ability," Householder said. "Nothing more to say."
Householder faces federal racketeering charges for allegedly leading a $61 million conspiracy that funneled money from FirstEnergy through a dark money group for his personal and political benefit, including getting him elected House Speaker, in exchange for helping pass and then defend a nuclear bailout law.
Householder pleaded not guilty in the case. Even after being voted out as House Speaker, he went on to defeat several write-in candidates to win re-election last fall.
His successor as speaker, Bob Cupp, said resignation would be the honorable thing. However, Cupp wouldn't say what happened in the discussion about Householder in Tuesday's caucus meeting.
“I have no news to report, no updates," Cupp said on a call with reporters after session. "And, of course, you know I have a longstanding policy about not talking about internal caucus communications.”
House Democrats have previously proposed expelling Householder. Elected Republicans in his district have also written to Cupp asking for Householder to be removed.
Two other defendants in the federal bribery case have pleaded guilty, along with the dark money group Generation Now, which said it was formed at Householder's behest. A third defendant, the lobbyist Neil Clark, was found dead in Florida earlier this week.