Cleveland — FirstEnergy Corp. is working with the U.S. Department of Justice on its role in secretly funding a $ 60 million bribery scheme to secure $ 1 billion in relief for two Ohio nuclear power plants. We are negotiating a postponed prosecution agreement. call.
Such agreements generally include admitting fraud to businesses, agreeing to initiate reforms, working with prosecutors, paying fines, and promising not to commit additional crimes. ..
“We will address the DOJ and work fully together,” said Steven Strah, President and CEO of FirstEnergy. “The solution discussion I talked about today is constructive and a positive development for us.”
Akron-based FirstEnergy will spend millions of dollars to win a billion-dollar legislative bailout for two Ohio nuclear power plants operated by wholly owned subsidiaries when the bill was passed in July 2019. It has been accused of spending.
A new independent company called Energy Harbor acquired ownership of the plant and other FirstEnergy assets in February 2020. Authorities said they didn’t need bailouts earlier this year, and Congress approved a bill to abolish bailouts in late March.
FirstEnergy officials did not provide a timeline for when an agreement could be reached, but later admitted that the company expected to suffer losses. FirstEnergy first disclosed the negotiations at the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed Thursday.
Chicago-based Commonwealth Edison will pay a $ 200 million fine for its role in a bribery program involving then-Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan as part of a postponed prosecution agreement last July. I agreed.
The utility has admitted that it has bribed Madigan for political alliance and other benefits in exchange for favorable legislation. Madigan resigned as chairman in January and resigned from the legislature in February. He denied cheating.
The Illinois proceedings share similarities with what federal officials said they occurred in Ohio.
Prosecutors say Ohio Speaker Larry Householder will spend $ 60 million on FirstEnergy to select householder priority candidates, win legislative approval of the nuclear rescue bill, and maintain a referendum. He accused him of funding a dirty trick campaign for. About legislation away from ballots.
The landlord and four others (a political adviser and three lobbyists) were arrested and subsequently charged with federal extortion in July last year after being accused of participating in the plan by federal authorities. The landlord has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. He continues to represent the state, but is no longer the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
FirstEnergy fired CEO Chuck Jones and two other executives in October, saying it “broke a particular FirstEnergy policy and its code of conduct.” The company later paid $ 4.3 million for company officials to end a long-standing consulting deal with a person appointed by Republican Governor Mike DeWine as the state’s highest utility regulator in January 2020. Clarified. FirstEnergy said an internal investigation revealed that the payment was “for the benefit of FirstEnergy as a result of receiving such payment.”
It is undisputed that regulators were Sam Randazzo, who resigned as chairman of the Ohio Public Utility Commission in November, a few days after the FBI searched Columbus town home and FirstEnergy disclosed payments.
A FirstEnergy official said Friday that the company is working on future ethical standards and procedures and is rethinking how to donate to potential politicians.
FirstEnergy in negotiations on postponed prosecution transactions
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