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Ohio Democratic Party threatens to sue DeWine administration over records requests

Dan Konik

Ohio Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters say it's been 100 days since they first requested records among DeWine and his administration related to the nuclear power plant bailout and the appointment of a state regulator later accused of taking a bribe from utility company FirstEnergy.

"And so as long as those questions remain unanswered, that begs the question of what else are they hiding? Where else can we be getting information? Why aren't they responding to our request? It sounds like they're trying to protect themselves and others, and that is not a just response for the voters of Ohio," says Walters.

DeWine's spokesperson, Dan Tierney, says they have worked to process similar records previously requested by other Democratic elected officials and have sent about 600 pages of documents so far.

Tierney adds that federal officials have not requested to question or have subpoenaed anyone in the DeWine administration. He reiterated a previous statement that any insinuation of wrongdoing "lacks basis in reality and fact."

Former House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) is accused of controlling a 501(c)4 funded by FirstEnergy in exchange for passing legislation that served the utility's interests.

FirstEnergy signed a deferred prosecution agreement admitting to the bribery scheme and to paying a $4 million bribe to Sam Randazzo before DeWine appointed him as chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

The Ohio Democratic Party says they are seeking more information through their records requests "on behalf of Ohioans on what exactly took place leading up to the $60 million bribery scheme and who knew what and when."

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.