FirstEnergy forges ahead even as former execs are indicted

AKRON -- "The first criminal charges have been filed against two former FirstEnergy executives, nearly four years after the initial arrests of former Ohio House speaker Larry Householder and others in Ohio’s ongoing House Bill 6 corruption scandal. The company says it has taken significant steps to move forward. Yet issues related to HB 6 continue to play a role in the company’s push to raise ratepayer charges, ongoing shareholder litigation and more....

The charges include multiple counts of bribery, theft, money laundering, telecommunications fraud, record tampering, and a pattern of corrupt activity. The allegations relate to House Bill 6 but also include other actions reaching back more than a decade.

The first criminal charges against Jones and Dowling are 'critical and long-overdue steps forward in bringing justice for the people of Ohio,' said Rachael Belz, CEO of advocacy group Ohio Citizen Action. Federal charges against former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and others were filed nearly four years ago. Yet the state’s criminal prosecution seemed to be in slow gear until last spring, when the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission began looking into the matter.'"

-- Kathiann M Kowalski, Energy News Network

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