Former GOP House speaker pleads for mercy before being sentenced to 20 years in prison for ‘largest bribery scandal in Ohio’s history’

The former Ohio Speaker of the House has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the state’s largest corruption scandal in history, the Associated Press reported.

Larry Householder, 64,  pleaded for mercy before sentencing, saying he was asking for mercy on behalf of himself, but for his wife, sons and friends. But U.S. District Judge Timothy Black was having none of it, telling Householder that he was a “bully with a lust for power who thought he was better than everyone else.” 

Householder showed little emotion before being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

He and former Ohio Republican Party chair Matt Borges were both convicted in April of a single racketeering charge each. Borges is set to be sentenced Friday.

Householder was behind a $60 million bribery scheme secretly funded by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. “to secure Householder’s power, elect his allies, pass legislation containing a $1 billion bailout for two aging nuclear power plants owned by a FirstEnergy affiliate and then to use a dirty tricks campaign to stifle a ballot effort to overturn the bill,” the AP’s report stated.

Householder was one of Ohio’s most powerful politicians, a historically twice-elected speaker, before his indictment. After Householder’s arrest in July 2020, the Republican-controlled House ousted him from his leadership post, but he refused to resign for nearly a year on grounds he was innocent until proven guilty. In a bipartisan vote, representatives ultimately ousted him from the chamber in 2021 — the first such expulsion in Ohio in 150 years.


All told, five people and a dark money group have been charged so far for their roles in the scheme. A federal investigation remains ongoing.

Read more at the Associated Press.

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.