COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Gov. Mike DeWine and several other state officals are calling on the Ohio Speaker of the House to resign following allegations he was part of a bribery conspiracy.
Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder and four associates have been charged with receiving approximately $60 million to pass and uphold a bill that funneled state funds to two failing nuclear power plants.
DeWine issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
“I am deeply concerned about the allegations of wrongdoing in the criminal complaint issued today by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Every American has the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Because of the nature of these charges, it will be impossible for Speaker Householder to effectively lead the Ohio House of Representatives; therefore, I am calling on Speaker Householder to resign immediately.
“This is a sad day for Ohio.”Gov. Mike DeWine
Householder was released on his own recognizance after an initial court appearance Tuesday. His next scheduled court date is Aug. 6.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted also released a statement calling for Householder to resign.
Husted’s statement reads, in full:
“As a former House Speaker, it makes me incredibly sad.
“With the announcement of today’s criminal complaints, the Speaker can no longer effectively perform his duties and should resign.
“Ohio is in the midst of a pandemic response and economic downturn, and the institution of the House of Representatives must remain operational, and the integrity of the office and the institution must be restored.”Lt. Gov. Jon Husted
House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) and Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) both issued statements also calling for Householder’s resignation.
Sykes statement reads, in full:
“This is a sad day for Ohio.
As Ohioans are grappling with a public health and economic crisis like we haven’t seen in generations, this is an unnecessary distraction from the very important business facing our citizens. Because of this, we demand the immediate resignation of Larry Householder as Speaker of the House and implore our Republican colleagues to announce a new leader for this body as soon as possible. We cannot let this situation distract us from the important work that needs to get done.
There’s no enjoyment in today’s news which will no doubt lead to the further deterioration of the public’s trust in our institutions.”House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron)
Yuko’s statement reads, in full:
“Ohio has been under one-party rule for most of the past two decades. This has allowed certain politicians to feel untouchable and caused a culture of corruption to spread among our government institutions. This is a culture that we must eradicate.
“Speaker Householder has dishonored the legislature and tarnished the reputation of public officials across our state. He violated his oath of office and must resign immediately.
“Ohioans work hard and play by the rules. They want to be represented by elected officials who do the same. Senate Democrats are committed to restoring people’s trust in state government.”Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights)
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose tweeted:
Ohio Attorney General David Yost also called for Householder’s resignation, tweeting:
Republican Ohio Rep. Troy Balderson also called for Householder to resign:
“Today is a sad day in Ohio. I have always believed that holding public office is a high honor and should be treated as such. The allegations against Speaker Larry Householder appear to be significant. If true, they are shocking and serve as evidence that he violated the public’s trust and federal law. He should resign immediately.”Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH)
The House’s majority leadership, however, continued to support Householder.
A statement credited to Speaker Pro Tempore Jim Butler (R-Oakwood), Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), Assistant Majority Floor Leader Anthony DeVitis (R-Green), Majority Whip Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) and Assistant Majority Whip Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) reads, in full:
“We were shocked to learn of the charges filed today against Speaker Householder. The Ohio House of Representatives remains open, and the members and staff are continuing their work to serve the people of Ohio. We are reviewing the allegations. To our knowledge, no other member of the Ohio General Assembly is under investigation in connection with these allegations. We have not been in contact with Speaker Householder today. Due to the pending investigation, we cannot comment further at this time.”House majority leadership