Larry Householder arrested in $60 million bribery case

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder arrested in $60 million bribery case

Larry Householder

© Sam Greene/The Enquirer Speaker Larry Householder speaks before the House of Representatives at the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

Federal officials arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others on Tuesday morning in connection with a $60 million bribery case.

U.S. Attorney David DeVillers’ office would not discuss details of the case, but a source involved in the investigation confirmed Householder’s arrest to The Enquirer.

Also arrested, according to the source: Neil Clark, founder of Grant Street Consultants and once called by USA Today “one of the best-connected lobbyists in Columbus;” former Ohio Republican Party chair and consultant Matthew Borges; Juan Cespedes, co-founder of The Oxley Group in Columbus; and Jeffrey Longstreth, adviser to him. 

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A spokeswoman for DeVillers said an Ohio official and associates were charged in the case, which she described as a “public corruption racketeering conspiracy involving $60 million.” DeVillers has scheduled a 2:30 p.m. press conference to discuss the case.

Larry Householder

a man sitting at a table in a library: David M. DeVillers was sworn in as U.S. Attorney on Friday, Nov. 1.

© Provided/U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio David M. DeVillers was sworn in as U.S. Attorney on Friday, Nov. 1.

A dispatcher for the Perry County sheriff’s office told the Columbus Dispatch they were assisting the FBI this morning “in the area” of Householder’s farm. She declined to specify it was the Householder farm.

Larry Householder

Larry is one of the biggest names in Ohio politics and has been a major player for years in the state’s Republican Party. He’s known as an aggressive fundraiser who doesn’t shy away from hardball tactics on the campaign trail or in the statehouse.

He first served as Ohio’s House speaker from 2001 to 2004. The FBI launched an investigation in 2004 into allegations that Householder and his aides took kickbacks from vendors and traded legislation for campaign contributions. The investigation ended in 2006 with no charges filed.

A term-limited Householder left Columbus in 2004 during the investigation.

Larry Householder: This top Ohio Republican has made a career of thriving in chaos

​The Enquirer will update this story

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder arrested in $60 million bribery case

Larry Householder

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