Energy Harbor, formerly known as FirstEnergy Solutions, reduced its registered lobbyists from seven in early 2019 to four now. Only one of the seven — Dave Griffing — remains on the state lobbying roster for Energy Harbor.
The company, which owns two nuclear power plants in Ohio, has said it is also cooperating with federal investigators.
In 2019, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 6 into law that would give a $1.3 billion bailout to Energy Harbor and provide other financial benefits to FirstEnergy. All Ohio electricity customers would foot the bill.
In July 2020, FBI agents arrested then Ohio House speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, and four other men. Federal prosecutors alleged that Householder took nearly $61 million in bribes to gain political power and then pass and defend House Bill 6 from a referendum attempt. While the federal criminal complaint doesn’t name the utilities involved, descriptions identify them as FirstEnergy, FirstEnergy Services Co. and Energy Harbor.
To date, Householder’s political strategist Jeff Longstreth, Energy Harbor lobbyist Juan Cespedes and Generation Now, a 501(c)4 non-profit used as a funnel for political money, have pleaded guilty.
Householder, lobbyist Neil Clark and former Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges have pleaded not guilty to racketeering.