Ohio state lawmaker Larry Householder was ousted from his role as House speaker on Thursday in a unanimous vote, just nine days after prosecutors arrested him for his alleged role in the “largest bribery scheme” in state history. Householder, who is the first speaker ever to be removed by the chamber in Ohio, will still retain his seat in the Republican-led legislature. On July 21, the FBI arrested Householder and four political insiders after he allegedly conspired to funnel tens of millions of dollars from the state’s electric utility to his political allies in order to consolidate power over the state legislature and shepherd through a $1.5 billion bailout for the utility’s nuclear power plants.
On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted Householder, the speaker’s adviser Jeffrey Longstreth, 44; former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matthew Borges, 48; and prominent lobbyists Neil Clark, 67, and Juan Cespedes, 40, on one count of racketeering. The investigation into the Republican lawmaker centers on House Bill 6, a $1 billion bailout plan for two Ohio nuclear power plants—which Householder notably helped push through last year. The bill was signed by DeWine in June.