COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– The Ohio House of Representatives was back in session Tuesday for the first time since the removal of House Speaker Larry Householder. All eyes were on the former Speaker who attended the session as a representative.
Householder along with Jeffrey Longstreth, Neil Clark, Matthew Borges, Juan Cespedes and Generation Now of Rico Conspiracy, are accused of taking part in a 60 million dollar bribery scheme involving the passage of 2019’s House Bill 6. The bill included a billion-dollar bailout for two failing nuclear power plants.
Federal officials have called it the largest bribery scheme in Ohio’s history. Householder says he still stands behind the bill.
“I think it was great legislation. If there are changes that need to be made to improve it, I think that’s fine. I think that it’s good legislation,” said Householder.
Householder says he plans to plead not guilty to these charges and is innocent of any wrongdoing.
“I believe in the justice system, and I believe that if everything works the way it’s supposed to, the truth will come out,” Householder stated. “As I’ve said: I’m innocent, and I intend to absolutely defend myself as best I can.”
He says he does not plan to step down as a representative and believes he can continue to represent his district without any issue. Householder is currently the only person on the ballot in his House District this November.
Newly elected Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp called on Householder to resign his seat, calling his return to the Statehouse following his July 21 arrest “offensive” to members of the chamber and “brought disrepute upon the House.”
Householder is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, and he says he does believe he has found an attorney.