COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a historic, unanimous and bipartisan vote Thursday, the Ohio House ousted its Republican speaker as the chamber’s top leader after his indictment in an alleged $60 million bribery scheme.
Rep. Larry Householder is the first Ohio House speaker ever removed by the chamber, according to the Ohio History Connection. His nametag was unscrewed from the speaker’s dais shortly after the vote, but he still retains his seat in the GOP-led Legislature.
Remaining members of Householder’s leadership team said lawmakers didn’t take the decision on his removal lightly, “but it was clear that Mr. Householder is unable to effectively lead the House.”
GOP Rep. Bob Cupp called the vote “the most important thing” the House could do Thursday.
“There is no doubt that people feel betrayed, used, and it’s been a stain on the House, and people want to make sure we begin anew,” Cupp told reporters following the vote.
Cupp, a former Ohio Supreme Court justice, and Householder’s No. 2, Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Jim Butler, are potential candidates to be the next speaker. Cupp didn’t respond to questions about that.
Householder, of Glenford, and four associates were identified in a July 21 federal affidavit as allegedly taking part in a pay-to-play scheme involving corporate money secretly funneled to them for personal and political use in exchange for helping to pass House Bill 6 to financially bail out two Ohio nuclear plants.
Householder was one of the driving forces behind the legislation, which included a fee to every electricity bill in the state and directed over $150 million a year through 2026 to the plants near Cleveland and Toledo.
Ohio lawmakers oust speaker indicted in $60M bribery scheme
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