For months, a House Republican and a House Democrat have been trying to strike a deal on when to present a resolution to deport. former president Larry Householder, who was arrested last year on federal bribery and racketeering charges.
Those negotiations ended Tuesday afternoon when three Democrats announced their own intention to present a resolution on Wednesday.
“We realized this wasn’t going to start unless Democrats took the lead,” said Rep. Jeff Crossman of D-Parma. “They were going to drop something weeks ago and then it never happened.”
Hours later, two House Republicans tabled a resolution to remove the head of the house from office.
“We always thought this was a resolution that should come from our caucus,” Rep. Brian Stewart, R-Ashville, said in an interview.
Stewart couldn’t say what had happened to the bipartisan plan. These conversations took place between Crossman and Newark rep Mark Fraizer, who did not return a request for comment.
“From what I understood from Mark, the Democratic members broke with that and said they were going to do their own thing,” said Stewart. “I didn’t see their resolution.”
The case against Householder
Federal agents arrested Householder at his Perry County home in July 2020.
Prosecutors accused him and four other men of illegally conspiring together to have two nuclear power plants bailed out by the state. The indictment alleged the men received $ 61 million in donations from First Energy Corp. and affiliates to elect pro-government Republicans, pass the bailout, and then stop opponents from enforcing the law. the ballot for everyone in Ohio.
Householder maintains his innocence. But two of the men arrested with Householder have pleaded guilty, as have Generation Now, the nonprofit prosecutors accused of transferring money for the massive corruption project.
The Ohio House removed Householder from his post as president weeks after his arrest, but lawmakers were reluctant to remove him from office.
Some, like Rep. Bill Seitz of R-Green Township, have maintained an innocent position until proven guilty.
Others, like Republican House Speaker Bob Cupp of R-Lima, initially said they were waiting for the start of the new term in January. The former Ohio Supreme Court judge didn’t believe an official could be legally deported twice for the same thing.
Householder ran unopposed and won a third term with more than 70% of the votes.
Cupp has been quiet about his caucus’ stance on the MP’s expulsion since January, telling reporters every week that he has no news on the issue. Although he reiterates his wish that the MP “do the right thing” and resign.
Expulsion requires a two-thirds or 66-member vote. The Ohio GOP holds 64 seats in the House while Democrats have 35.
“It has to be bipartisan,” Crossman said.
And Stewart agreed. He said he hopes most members of the Ohio House will be able to come around to the resolution to remove Householder from office.
When asked if Cupp supported the resolution, Stewart said executives “were aware” of their plans to file on Tuesday. The speaker, who did not respond to a request for comment, has the power to prevent all bills – including resolutions – from getting a vote. Committee chairs can also delay the process by simply not holding hearings.
But Stewart notes that there is “significant support for the expulsion within the Republican caucus.”
“Representative Fraizer has had this resolution and has been working on it and talking about it with our colleagues for months,” said Stewart. “We have tried to respect the deliberation process … but we believe that the time of waiting, discussing and deliberation is over. It is time to put the matter to a vote.”