CEO Chuck Jones and Senior Vice President Michael Dowling were identified as the two senior executives who “devised and orchestrated FirstEnergy’s payments to public officials,” according to an affidavit filed Wednesday in federal court.
The names became public one day after Judge John Adams demanded FirstEnergy attorneys release them during a court appearance in Akron. The response came in the form of an affidavit signed by attorneys Jeroen Van Kwawegen and Thomas Curry.
Adams had said the public had a right to know how the political process was so easily corrupted. The order stemmed from a proposed settlement of lawsuits filed by shareholders on behalf of FirstEnergy against board members and top executives.
Five people, including former Ohio House speaker Larry Householder, are facing federal charges in the $61 million bribery scandal around what was known as House Bill 6, a $1 billion bailout of two nuclear power plants operated by a company now called Energy Harbor. The bill was signed into law in July 2019.
Householder, who was expelled from the Ohio House in June, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Among the others, Matt Borges, the former state Republican party chairman, has also pleaded not guilty and is publicly declaring his innocence. Juan Cespedes and Jeffrey Longstreth pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges, and Neil Clark died by suicide shortly after the charges were announced.
Jones and Dowling were fired from FirstEnergy in October, shortly after Cespedes and Longstreth pleaded guilty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.