Ohio’s former House Speaker doesn’t want his public corruption trial to include evidence of bribery allegations against another former top state official.
Federal prosecutors and former GOP House speaker Larry Householder both filed motions in court last week seeking to exclude pieces of evidence from the looming January 2023 trial against Householder and an alleged conspirator.
Householder asked a federal judge to block an admission from FirstEnergy Corp., an Akron-based utility, that the company also paid a $4.3 million bribe to Sam Randazzo, formerly the state’s top utility regulator. Randazzo has not been charged with a crime and has denied wrongdoing.
But according to Householder, the bribe to Randazzo is “beyond the scope of the conspiracy” of which Householder is accused. Therefore, communications between FirstEnergy executives and Randazzo should not be entered as trial evidence.
“That FirstEnergy may have bribed Randazzo does not make it more or less likely that Householder is guilty of the charge against him,” Householder’s attorneys wrote.
Along with the Randazzo allegations, Householder asked that U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black exclude several statements from Neil Clark, a powerful GOP lobbyist charged alongside Householder, that were secretly recorded in phone calls from the FBI.