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ProgressOhio Demands Edwards, Other Householder Leadership, Release Communications Related to HB6 Scandal


Federal criminal complaint makes clear they new about scheme – we deserve answers

Today, ProgressOhio filed a public records request for all communications between members of disgraced former Speaker Larry Householder leadership team and individuals implicated in the HB6 bribery scandal. We also demand that Rep. Jay Edwards, Rep. Jim Butler, Rep. Laura Lanese, Rep. Bill Sietz, and Rep. Tony DeVitis publicly release any additional communications with these individuals not covered by public records law.

In a rare interview last week, Rep. Edwards made the laughable claim that neither he nor any of the other members of Householder’s leadership team knew about the massive corruption scheme they were a part of. We know that is a lie

“The FBI complaint clearly states members of Householder’s team knew about his scheme,” said ProgressOhio Managing Director Michael McGovern. “What did they know and when? Ohio voters deserve answers about their involvement in this massive bribery scandal.” 

A text from Householder to Jeff Longstreth in June 2019 in the federal criminal complaint (page 65) reads: “Gen Now has had issues as well. I’ve had several members – including members of House leadership come in privately and discuss their concern over next years House campaigns based on HB 6 messaging, mail, TV and radio.”

It is clear that some House members knew that Householder controlled Generation Now and that it was being used both to promote HB 6 and support GOP candidates. Who knew and what did they know? 

Only Rep. Lanese respected Speaker Bob Cupp’s request to step down from leadership. The others have held on, keeping Householder’s team and power intact. Reps. Seitz, Edwards, and Lanese are all running for re-election – voters in their districts deserve to know what they knew, and when. Seitz, whose previous attempts to bailout FirstEnergy have been subpoenaed, is also allegedly running for Speaker. 

ProgressOhio has requested they turn over any communications they or their staff have had with the following individuals implicated or indicted in the HB6 scandal: Larry Householder, Robert Klaffky, Douglas Preisse, Robert (BJ) Schuerger, Juan Cespedes, Ben Kaiser, Geoff Verhoff, Dave Griffing, Jason Mauk, Alexander Thomas, Adam Hewit, Neil Clark, Eric Lycan, Matthew Borges, Matthew Davis, Jo Ann Davison, Jeff Longstreth, Curt Steiner, Carlo LoParo, Kevin Servick, Patrick Pickett, Mark Weaver, or Donald Brey.  

We are also demanding they turn over any additional personal communications they have had that are not covered by Ohio public record rules. If they were truly not involved in this scandal, why do they have to hide?