FirstEnergy reports smaller lobbying contributions in 2021

Ohio
Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel, center, accompanied by FBI Special Agent in Charge Chris Hoffman, speaks during a news conference in Cincinnati, Thursday, July 22, 2021. Federal authorities say Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. would pay a $230 million penalty and fully cooperate as part of an agreement announced Thursday to settle federal charges against the company in a sweeping bribery scheme in Ohio. (AP Photo/Farnoush Amiri)

Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel, center, accompanied by FBI Special Agent in Charge Chris Hoffman, speaks during a news conference in Cincinnati, Thursday, July 22, 2021. Federal authorities say Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. would pay a $230 million penalty and fully cooperate as part of an agreement announced Thursday to settle federal charges against the company in a sweeping bribery scheme in Ohio. (AP Photo/Farnoush Amiri)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The energy giant at the center of a $60 million bribery scheme in Ohio has dramatically decreased the amount of money it provides to dark money groups to influence public policy.

That’s according to a filing required by a deal with federal prosecutors that allowed the company to avoid a criminal case.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Friday the company paid $2.2 million to nonprofits and groups benefitting public officials during the first half of 2021.

That’s considerably below the approximately $60 million the company paid between 2017 and 2020 to dark money groups to fund a bailout of two aging nuclear power plants.

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