Agreement shows Ohio utility paid regulator for future help, AG amends lawsuit

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CLEVELAND (AP) – The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel has made public a consulting agreement that resulted in a $4.3 million payment by FirstEnergy Corp. to an energy attorney and lobbyist shortly before he was appointed Ohio’s top utility regulator.

The contracts dating back to 2013 released to reporters on Monday show that and previous payments were made to Sam Randazzo’s company, Sustainability Funding Alliance of Ohio.

Ohio attorney general Dave Yost announced Thursday an amendment to the FirstEnergy lawsuit. The new filing adds Randazzo and several unnamed associates as defendants, as well as fired FirstEnergy CEO Charles Jones and fired senior VP Michael Dowling.

FirstEnergy has acknowledged in a federal deferred prosecution agreement paying Randazzo a total of $22 million from 2010 through 2019.

Randazzo has denied helping FirstEnergy after he became chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in April 2019.

The amended lawsuit seeks recovery of the $4.3 million payment by FirstEnergy to Randazzo. It also accuses the newly named defendants of extortion, money laundering, coercion, intimidation and an attempted coverup.

The civil claims officially included engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, civil damages for criminal acts and damages for reputable harm.

The amended suit in full is available to read here.

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