FBI investigation revealed vast FirstEnergy-backed political network hidden through lax state disclosure rules


FirstEnergy headquarters in Akron

COLUMBUS – "Legal filings and media reports over the past six months gradually have peeled back the layers of a dark-money political network funded by FirstEnergy, the Akron-based utility company.

But because state and federal law don’t require political nonprofits to disclose their donors, the only reason the public knows about anything about the utility’s ties to the expansive constellation of Ohio political causes is the federal investigation into House Bill 6, the nuclear bailout law which prosecutors say passed due to a $61 million bribery scheme, funded by FirstEnergy and its affiliates through secret or difficult to trace political donations.

The U.S. attorney overseeing the case, David DeVillers, said anonymous political spending played a key role in the scandal. 'Dark money is a breeding ground for corruption,' he said in a statement shortly after then-House Speaker Larry Householder and others were arrested last July, revealing the investigation."

– Andrew Tobias, cleveland.com

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