COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) started the process Wednesday to audit FirstEnergy’s compliance with corporate separation laws and regulations.

The issue came up after FirstEnergy was linked to a bribery scandal involving former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder.

Householder and others are accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes to move along a nuclear energy bailout bill known as House Bill 6. The bill funneled state funds to two failing nuclear power plants. Those plants were managed by FirstEnergy.

Auditors will be reviewing corporate separation during the time period leading up to the passage of House Bill 6 and subsequent referendum efforts.

The audit should be done by April 21, 2021.

In its order, the Commission noted that information recently filed by FirstEnergy Corp. with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating an internal investigation by FirstEnergy Corp. warranted further examination of compliance with corporate separation regulations by FirstEnergy’s electric distribution utilities and its affiliates.

The PUCO has direct jurisdiction over FirstEnergy’s three electric distribution companies: Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, Ohio Edison and Toledo Edison.

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