Thursday, February 25, 2021

Federal Prosecutor in Ohio bribery investigation resigns

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The federal prosecutor leading an investigation into a $60 million bribery probe at the Ohio Statehouse resigned Tuesday after the Justice Department requested that U.S. Attorney appointees of former President Donald Trump step down.

U.S. Attorney David DeVillers announced the investigation in July, considered the biggest ever criminal probe involving the seat of Ohio government. He had promised continued prosecution of individuals facing charges, while saying the investigation was ongoing.

“I have been a prosecutor for my entire career, and it was my wish to remain a prosecutor until the end of my career, but that is not to be,” DeVillers said in a statement.

DeVillers, 54, was a criminal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office before being named to the agency’s top job as a Trump appointee. He previously led the largest federal homicide case in Ohio history, prosecuting members of a violent Columbus gang called the Short North Posse.

In the bribery probe, five individuals including former GOP House Speaker Larry Householder were accused of shepherding $60 million in energy company money for personal and political use in exchange for passing a legislative bailout of two aging nuclear plants and then derailing an attempt to place a rejection of the bailout on the ballot.

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