Former PUCO chairman’s assets seized as Ohio bribery investigation continues

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost obtained a court order seizing up to $8 million in assets from Sam Randazzo, former chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Ohio, as the state continues to investigate the House Bill 6 and FirstEnergy bribery scheme.

“First Energy admitted to bribing Randazzo to the tune of $4.3 million to help construct House Bill 6, and he should be accountable for those actions,” Yost said. “Randazzo is making moves that will make it harder to hold him financially accountable for accepting bribes. As the federal investigation continues, we need to make sure that his assets are available for recovery when his time comes to pay.”

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Since February, Randazzo sold four properties worth a total of $4.8 million and transferred a $500,000 Columbus home to his son, according to Yost.

The attorney general filed the court order in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas this week to prevent Randazzo from transferring or selling property.

Randazzo resigned in November 2020, days after FBI agents raided his condo in connection to the investigation.

Yost added Randazzo to a list of defendants in the lawsuit earlier this month, along with Charles Jones, the former CEO of FirstEnergy, and Michael Dowling, former senior vice president for FirstEnergy.

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The amended lawsuit alleges Randazzo, Jones and Dowling participated in extortion, money laundering, coercion, intimidation and an attempted coverup, according to Yost.

“If Sam Randazzo is innocent as he claims, we’ll expect that he’ll fully cooperate, and that we’ll be able to locate the funds easily,” Yost said. “We are not going to tolerate public corruption in our state. The facts will prevail and the truth will come out.”

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