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Former FirstEnergy executives indicted in HB 6 bribery scandal | Reporters Roundtable

FirstEnergy headquarters in Downtown Akron
Annie Wu
Ideastream Public Media
FirstEnergy is headquartered in Akron, Ohio.

State felony charges were announced this week connected to the ongoing corruption scandal surrounding the passage and referendum defense of the energy bill known as House Bill 6. Opponents refer to the bill as the "nuclear bailout."

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced indictments against former FirstEnergy CEO Charles "Chuck" Jones and former Vice President Michael Dowling. A Summit County grand jury also indicted former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio chairperson Sam Randazzo.

The three men pleaded not guilty in court and posted $10,000 dollar bonds. All are ordered to wear GPS monitoring anklets and have been ordered not to leave Ohio.

The indictments on 27 felony charges come nearly a year after a jury convicted former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and former GOP state party chairman Matt Borges in the HB 6 scandal.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District needs to make cuts in order to reach a balanced budget. The district says it is facing the prospect of a $143 million dollar deficit at the end of the next school year. The end of federal pandemic relief funds is partly to blame according to the district.

Cleveland City Council and Mayor Justin Bibb appear to have reached a compromise over where money generated in a proposed tax increment financing district or TIF will go. We told you last week about Bibb's proposal called Shore to Core to Shore. It will raise money for the development of Cleveland's waterfronts. But the proposal hit a snag when Council President Blaine Griffin suggested that half of the money raised would need to be earmarked for neighborhoods other than Downtown.

The state of Ohio is installing advanced camera monitoring systems across the state as part of a ramped-up effort to reduce serious crashes, especially rear-end crashes.

The governor unveiled the new system on I-70 in Licking County. This is the site where three students and three adults traveling with the Tuscarawas Valley Marching Band died last November when a truck rear-ended a SUV and the band’s charter bus as traffic slowed.

President Joe Biden will travel to East Palestine later this afternoon. It's his first visit to the Columbiana County village since a train derailed there in February of last year spilling a dangerous combination of chemicals. The derailment contaminated the soil and water and forced thousands from their homes.

-Glenn Forbes, Supervising Producer for Newscasts, Ideastream Public Media
-Taylor Wizner, Health Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV

Leigh Barr is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and the "Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable."