FirstEnergy Corp. fires CEO, two other executives after House Bill 6 bribery scheme

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FILE – This April 4, 2017, file photo shows the entrance to FirstEnergy Corp.’s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio. A nuclear plant bailout law should be repealed immediately, Democratic members of the Ohio House announced Wednesday, July 22, 2020, as a bribery scandal involving one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers unfolded over the law’s passage. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

AKRON, Ohio (WCMH) — FirstEnergy Corp. has fired its CEO and two other executives on the heels of a multi-million dollar bribery scandal involving former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four associates.

The Independent Review Committee of the Board of Directors of FirstEnergy Corp. announced Thursday the termination of the company’s Chief Executive Officer Charles Jones effective immediately.

FirstEnergy also announced the termination of two other executives: Senior Vice President of Product Development, Marketing, and Branding and its Senior Vice President of External Affairs.

The five men were charged with receiving approximately $60 million to pass and uphold House Bill 6, which funneled state funds to two failing nuclear power plants operated by a former FirstEnergy subsidiary.

Two of those men, Jeffrey Longstreth and Juan Cespedes, reached a plea agreement Oct. 29. According to court documents, Longstreth and Cespedes admitted to conspiring with Larry Householder, Neil Clark, Matthew Borges and Generation Now to orchestrate payments to help guarantee passage of legislation affecting the operation of the two nuclear power plants.

Householder has pleaded not guilty, saying he’s innocent.

During the course of the company’s previously disclosed internal review related to the government investigations, the Independent Review Committee of the Board determined that these executives violated certain FirstEnergy policies and its code of conduct.

Steven Strah, president of FirstEnergy, has been appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. As part of this transition, Christopher D. Pappas, a current member of the Company’s Board, has been named Executive Director. In this role, he remains an independent member of the Board and is not a part of the management team. He reports to Donald T. Misheff, who continues as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board.

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