Exec: Utility bled cash before alleged Ohio speaker bribes

By JULIE CARR SMYTH
Associated Press

CINCINNATI (AP) — A FirstEnergy Corp. executive says an arm of the utility was “bleeding cash” as it explored options for two aging nuclear plants eventually rescued by Ohio House legislation at the center of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder’s corruption trial. Federal prosecutors allege Householder championed the bill in exchange for FirstEnergy bribes. Steven Staub is the company’s treasurer. He told jurors Tuesday that power prices had gotten so low in the years leading up to the bill’s passage that the plants couldn’t cover costs. Householder and lobbyist and former Ohio Republican chair Matt Borges are on trial in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.

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