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Ohio House Expels Ex-Speaker Charged in $60 Million Corruption Scheme | Press "Enter" to skip to content

Ohio House Expels Ex-Speaker Charged in $60 Million Corruption Scheme

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In October, Jeffrey Longstreth, a political strategist for Mr. Householder, and Juan Cespedes, a lobbyist close to Mr. Householder, both pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme.

Mr. Householder is the second recent Ohio House speaker to be ensnared in a federal investigation, following Cliff Rosenberger, who resigned in 2018 but has not been charged with a crime.

Mr. Householder has pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set.

“We look forward to the opportunity to challenge the government’s evidence at trial and are confident the outcome will result in a complete acquittal,” Mr. Householder’s lawyer, Mr. Bradley, said.

On Wednesday, Mr. Householder contended that the allegations against him did not meet the constitutional standard of “disorderly conduct” because they did not involve a “violent act, or the threat of a violent act.” He also denied any wrongdoing.

“I have not, nor have I ever, took a bribe or provided a bribe,” he said. “I have not, nor have I ever, solicited a bribe. And I have not, nor have I ever sold legislation — never, ever.”

Mr. Householder has been a mainstay in Ohio politics. He served as a House member from 1997 to 2004 and was speaker from 2001 to 2004, the complaint says. In 2004, he resigned from office amid news reports of corruption that had been referred to the F.B.I., which did not result in charges, the complaint says. He won his House seat back in the fall of 2016 and was elected speaker again in January 2019.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Householder hinted that he might be interested in running for office again. He vowed to remain “outspoken” and to be “out there, traveling around the state of Ohio and talking to voters and explaining to them my vision of this state,” Cleveland.com reported.


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