Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

Ohio’s public corruption case involving $61 million in bribes in exchange for a $1.3 billion bailout is the biggest open investigation in any Statehouse in America — surpassing a similar scandal in Illinois and two closed-out cases in New York.

The Ohio case involves big money, a Fortune 500 company, top political leaders, 4.5 million electricity customers across the state and the suicide death of a defendant.

“Historically, I haven’t seen anything like it,” said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Matthew DeBlauw, who leads the public corruption squad in Columbus. “This case is in a league of its own.”

More:FBI agent: ‘There’s more accountability to be had’ in Ohio public corruption case

So far, five Ohioans have been charged in U.S. District Court with racketeering. Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. fired its chief executive and other top managers and lobbyists, disclosed it paid $4.3 million to someone who became an Ohio utility regulator, and is in early talks with federal prosecutors to avoid prosecution. And FBI agents searched the home of then Public Utilities Commission of Ohio chairman Sam Randazzo, who then resigned.