Ohio House Republicans met Tuesday afternoon to discuss what to do with Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford), eight months after the former spokesman was arrested on federal corruption charges and four months after his re-election in his Seat and two months later a term without committee assignments.
The meeting of the caucus, which was also attended by Householder, had what longtime lawmaker Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) described as a “very bourgeois and spirited exchange of views”. But Seitz said there was never a plan to make a decision.
Rep. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) replaced Householder as spokesman. Cupp said several times that Householder, who ran against enrollments in November, could only be expelled from the house once for a reason.
Cupp has said he has an option that he prefers.
“There is an expulsion that the House could do if a majority agrees. There’s impeachment, that’s another option, “Cupp said in December.” I’ve said in the past that I think it would be honorable for the previous speaker to step down. “
Cupp was repeatedly asked about Householder by reporters.
“There are still discussions among the caucus to find out where they are,” Cupp said in a call to reporters on Feb. 8, suggesting that there appeared to be a split in the caucus.
And ten days later he was asked again and replied, “We have 64 members. It needs a lot of time.”
It would take “yes” votes from 66 of the 99 members to expel Householders.
And because House Democrats have already proposed removing him, all 35 will likely vote in favor of expulsion. In 2019, three-quarters of the Democratic caucus voted for Householder as spokesperson, and with half of the votes they defeated incumbent spokesman Ryan Smith.
Republican elected officials in his district have written to Cupp asking for Householder to be expelled. Among them are 13 Licking County officials who said, “The people of eastern and southern Licking Counties deserve proper representation in Columbus.”
The head of household has no committee duties but has been in regular session and has proposed two new bills – both described as being concerned with government accountability.
Householder is charged with the alleged $ 60 million bribery scandal involving the nuclear bailout act known as House Bill 6. He pleaded not guilty, along with former Ohio Republican Party chairman Matt Borges and lobbyist Neil Clark, who was found dead in Florida on Tuesday morning.
Two other lobbyists, Juan Cespedes and Jeff Longstreth, plead guilty. So does the dark money group Generation Now. The allegations include a utility that is widely believed to be FirstEnergy that has filed records with the FEC indicating improper transactions.
Householder is also accused of campaign funding violations, including $ 32,000 more or inappropriate donations from Cespedes and others.