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Learning Extent Of the Corruption

Give FBI officials credit for holding their cards close to the vest regarding utility-related corruption in Ohio. What is troubling is that the number of cards seems to be increasing.

Earlier this year, federal agents arrested former state House of Representatives Speaker Larry Householder and a few associates in a $60 million bribery scheme. Two of the men, but not Householder, have pleaded guilty to charges in what has been termed an “unholy alliance” between public officials and a FirstEnergy affiliate.

Then the other shoe dropped. Federal agents raided the Columbus townhome of Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo, carting away documents. Randazzo resigned the PUCO post — and it was reported FirstEnergy had paid a firm in which an Ohio utility regulator was involved more than $4 million as part of a consulting contract. The regulator fits Randazzo’s description.

At this point, Ohioans can be pardoned for wondering whether anyone in state government who was supposed to be looking out for their best interests was doing so — or was too preoccupied with pocket-lining. The sooner Ohioans know where to start, the sooner a major cleanup can begin.

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