Ohio House to consider removal of Householder as Speaker

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A source tells NBC4 that the Republican caucus within the Ohio Statehouse has voted among themselves to recommend the removal of embattled House Speaker Larry Householder.

One week ago, Householder and four others were arrested and charged with funneling more than $60 million to a corporation for use to ensure the passage of House Bill 6, which included a billion-dollar bailout for two failing nuclear power plants.

The Republican caucus met Tuesday for the first time since Householder’s arrest.

House Republicans issued a statement Tuesday evening saying they will consider a resolution to remove Householder on Thursday.

The resolution to remove Householder as Speaker would require 50 votes to be adopted. It would take effect immediately upon passage. Session will be held on Thursday, July 30 at 10 a.m.

“The decision by House Republicans today to proceed with removing Larry Householder as Speaker reflects the reality that while he is entitled to his day in court and a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, it has become abundantly clear that he has lost the trust of his colleagues and the public, and is unable to effectively lead this chamber.

“Today begins a new chapter for the Ohio House of Representatives. Our first priority is restoring trust and confidence in the institution. We and our colleagues look forward to working with Governor DeWine and our colleagues in the Ohio Senate on real solutions to lay the foundation for economic renewal and a brighter future for all Ohioans.”

Speaker Pro Tempore Jim Butler (R-Oakwood), Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), DeVitis, Majority Whip Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) and Assistant Majority Whip Laura Lanese (R-Grove City):

Householder has shown no indication he intends to step down, even after Gov. Mike DeWine and several other members of the legislature have called on him to do so.

“The past week has been a dark time for our state. For the second time in three years, Republican leadership has betrayed the people of Ohio, corrupted our Statehouse repeatedly and proven they are unfit to lead. Ohioans deserve better than this continued, deep-seated Republican culture of corruption that puts special interests and self-enrichment before the needs of everyday Ohioans. A Republican culture of corruption that we are learning potentially permeates more than just the Ohio House.

Removing Householder from the dais was a necessary decision and one that should not have required so much debate and hand-wringing. The disgraced Republican Supermajority’s desperate attempts to shift the focus away from their failed leader who allegedly orchestrated the largest public corruption and bribery scheme in Ohio history is pathetic. And Ohioans are smarter than that.

We refuse to let the latest GOP scandal derail the Ohio House of Representatives from the pressing work that needs to be done. We do not need these distractions; we need to work to solve the critical issues facing working people and families in our state. Republicans are still in power and have yet another chance to do the right thing; we hope this time, for the sake of everyday Ohioans, they take that responsibility more seriously.

House Democrats urge an official vote on Householder’s removal as soon as possible. And if the Republican House members refuse to do what’s right for Ohioans in a timely manner, we will call on the governor to clean up the mess his fellow republicans have made.” 

House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron), Assistant Minority Leader Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus), Minority Whip Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) and Assistant Minority Whip Rep. Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester)

Charged in the scheme are:

  • Householder, 61, of Glenford, Ohio
  • Mathew Borges, 48, of Bexley, Ohio, a lobbyist who previously served as chair of the Ohio Republican Party
  • Jeffrey Longstreth, 44, of Columbus, Householder’s longtime campaign and political strategist
  • Neil Clark, 67, of Columbus, a lobbyist who owns and operates Grant Street Consultants and previously served as budget director for the Ohio Republican Caucus
  • Juan Cespedes, 40, of Columbus, a multi-client lobbyist

Generation Now, a corporate entity registered as a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, was also charged. This is the corporation the money was allegedly funneled into. That money was then allegedly disseminated to candidates who would support Householder for the speaker post and the passage of House Bill 6.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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