Sam Randazzo, accused in Ohio's biggest corruption case, found dead

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Columbus, Ohio (W.C.M.H.) — Ohio's former top energy regulator, who was recently indicted as part of the largest corruption case in Ohio history, was found dead Tuesday.

Columbus police found the body of Sam Randazzo, 74, at 11:45 a.m. in a warehouse near the 400 block of East Mound Street, according to the Franklin County Coroner's Office. The former chairman of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission has died by suicide, the agency announced. Franklin County Auditor's records confirm that the building was owned by the Ohio Sustainability Funding Alliance, which court documents in the state complaint against Randazzo refer to as Randazzo's shell company.

Randazzo was accused of accepting bribes from FirstEnergy, a leading global company. Plans for 2019 To pass a $1 billion relief bill for nuclear power plants.Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and former state Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges both were convicted In March 2023, he was indicted on charges related to accepting $61 million in bribes to secure passage in Congress.

Sam Randazzo. (Courtesy photo/Ohio Public Utilities Commission)

Randazzo went unindicted in the case for years, but the FBI searched his house In November 2020. He resigned from PUCO a few days later.

The chairman is first indicted He will be indicted in December 2023 on federal charges including:

  • One count of conspiracy to commit travel law bribery and honest services wire fraud.
  • 2 charges of travel bribery
  • two counts of honest services wire fraud;
  • One count of wire fraud
  • Five charges of engaging in illegal financial transactions

Ohio at the time prosecuted him a second time In February, he spoke alongside former FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones and former FirstEnergy executive vice president for external affairs Michael Dowling. The group shared 27 different felony violations, including bribery charges, acts of corruption and money laundering.

State lawsuit documents state that Jones and Dowling paid Randazzo a 430. It is detailed that he paid $1,000. The payments came less than three months after the relief bill went into effect on October 22, 2019. Ohio Attorney General Dave YostFreeze Randazzo's assetsIn 2021, when FirstEnergy admitted to bribing its chairman for helping him pass.House Bill 6.

Randazzo is the second person to die from an apparent suicide in connection with the case. lobbyist neil clarkewas one of the first people charged in the FirstEnergy bribery scandal and was found dead in Naples, Florida in March 2021.

“Obviously our hearts go out to his family, but it's a sad story for me,” said Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson). “This has been really sad all along and the whole HB6 saga since 2019 when this bill was introduced has been sad.”

Congressman William J. Seitz III (R-Cincinnati) said, “Many of us spoke very highly of Sam and felt he had exceptional knowledge of public service issues.'' But I don't think anyone deserves this.” “This is a tragedy and a real shame. All I can say is this…the overwhelming Leviathan that is the government has descended upon him.”

The Ohio Governor's Office, House of Representatives, and Senate leadership all declined to comment at this time.

https://www.wdtn.com/news/ohio/sam-randazzo-recently-charged-in-ohios-biggest-corruption-case-found-dead/ Sam Randazzo, accused in Ohio's biggest corruption case, found dead

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