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DeWine: Campaign will match money donated from FirstEnergy contribution to Boys & Girls Club

The donation comes in light of FirstEnergy agreeing to pay a $230 million penalty for its role connection to the HB 6 bribery scheme.
Credit: Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine says his campaign will donate the same amount of money FirstEnergy made to his campaign to the Boys and Girls Club after the company agreed to pay a $230 million penalty on Thursday.

FirstEnergy Corp. agreed to the penalty in connection to a $60 million alleged bribery scheme involving HB 6 and former House Speaker Larry Householder.

The company was charged federally with conspiring to commit honest services wire fraud and admitted to conspiring to pay public officials in exchange for “specific official action” that would benefit the company.  

In a statement released from the governor's office, DeWine says he knew former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo had worked done work for FirstEnergy and was an expert in energy issues.

DeWine appointed Randazzo to be chairman in February 2019.

In November, FirstEnergy filed a document with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing a $4 million payment to someone who used to do consulting for the company and became "full-time role as an Ohio government official directly involved regulating the Ohio companies...” - a description that seems to fit Randazzo's role as PUCO chairman.

On the same day FirstEnergy revealed the payment, the FBI raided his Columbus townhouse.

Language in a separate lending document filed by the company that month suggested Randazzo helped the company after he became PUCO chair. 

DeWine denies knowing any of that information.

“If, as stated in the court documents, Sam Randazzo committed acts to improperly benefit First Energy, his motives were not known by me or my staff," DeWine said in a release.

The release did not state how much FirstEnergy made to his campaign.