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Hold Corporate Execs Responsible

It takes two parties to engage in a bribery scheme such as the $60 million one federal prosecutors in Ohio are alleging.

State House of Representatives Speaker Larry Householder is at the top of the feds’ list on one side of the scheme. He and four other people were arrested last week, charged in a scheme prosecutors say funneled $60 million to Generation Now, an organization controlled by Householder.

In exchange, Householder allegedly engineered enactment of a measure that provides a $150 million-a-year bailout for two nuclear power plants owned by FirstEnergy Corp. The money is to be raised through surcharges on Ohioans’ electric bills.

But federal charges against Householder and the others are missing important pieces of information. Documents in the case state only that the $60 million was paid by “Company A.” The firm is not identified.

There has been speculation that the company is FirstEnergy. Though that seems logical, federal authorities have not confirmed it.

If a company’s executives knowingly funded what prosecutors call racketeering by Householder, they ought to be prosecuted, too.

Prosecutors have various reasons for keeping identities secret in such cases. In this one — the biggest Ohio public corruption case in memory — private-sector players who helped victimize virtually everyone in the state ought to be exposed and arrested very soon.

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