Renacci: ‘Noose Keeps Tightening’ Around DeWine’s FirstEnergy Scandal


DeWine was warned by his campaign treasurer that Sam Randazzo had corrupt ties to FirstEnergy. He appointed him as PUCO Chairman anyway.

According to a new bombshell report from the Ohio Capital Journal, Mike DeWine's former campaign treasurer raised the alarm that DeWine's eventual nominee for Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Sam Randazzo had "opaque and undisclosed" ties to FirstEnergy that could compromise his ability to fairly lead PUCO.

The warning, in a 198-page dossier "alleging Sam Randazzo...uses businesses registered in his name to 'funnel' money from FirstEnergy to buy real estate," came nearly two years before First Energy admitted to the largest bribery scheme in Ohio's history. That scheme included a $4.3 million bribe to none other than Sam Randazzo to "use his perch to save the company hundreds of millions via friendly administrative rulings" right before he was appointed by DeWine. 

Mike DeWine was warned about the potential for corruption...and he appointed Sam Randazzo anyway. 

It wasn't DeWine's only connection to the scandal. DeWine's legislative director, who formerly led a dark-money group funded by FirstEnergy, abruptly resigned last September. In November, Fired FirstEnergy executives named DeWine's Lt. Governor Jon Husted as a person with "discoverable information" about the scandal.

Jim Renacci released the following statement:

"Why did Mike DeWine ignore a 200-page warning about Sam Randazzo's unethical behavior and appoint him to lead the Public Utilities Commission anyway? What else did DeWine know about FirstEnergy's scandalous corruption? There are still several unanswered questions about this scheme that frauded Ohio taxpayers. With every new court filing, news report, or resignation, the FirstEnergy noose keeps tightening around Mike DeWine. Enough is enough: conservatives have a chance next month to vote for real accountable conservative leadership and put an end to Mike DeWine's 40-year corrupt establishment career."