Ohio lobbyist called dead in Florida bribe tube

An Ohio lobbyist charged with federal bribery in connection with an investigation was found dead in Florida, authorities said Tuesday.

Collier County, Florida authorities confirmed to The Associated Press that the body of 67-year-old Neil Clark was found by a cyclist on Monday.

In a Columbus, Ohio police report from CBS News, Subsidiary WBNS-TVAuthorities edited the names of those involved, but said the body had a head wound and that police had recovered a gun from the scene.

The cause of death has not yet been officially reported, and a medical examination and autopsy are ongoing.

Authorities who contacted Clark’s wife said she had not heard from him for hours on Monday morning, according to WBNS-TV, adding that the two had financial problems.

The couple had lived in southwest Florida when Clark was alleged to be involved in a $ 60 million bribery program he led Former Ohio House spokesman and current State representative Larry Householder (R) in return for passing a controversial $ 1 billion bailout package for two Ohio nuclear power plants.

Clark pleaded not guilty in the fall of the alleged House Bill 6 system and denied any wrongdoing.

His lawyer Will Ireland told WBNS-TV on Tuesday that the lobbyist’s death was “just” a tragic loss of a good friend. ”

Householder, along with former Ohio Republican Party leader Matt Borges, pleaded not guilty to accepting bribes while two other men were charged – Lobbyist Juan Cespedes and former head of household Jeff Longstreth are guilty.

According to Court records from July 2020, FirstEnergy Solutions, which owned the two nuclear power plants, began paying a Householder-controlled nonprofit with $ 250,000 quarterly payments in 2017 during his second term in state parliament.

Prosecutors allege that Householder used the money to bolster his political power, fund efforts to help pass the law, and make payments to officials and lobbyists involved in the plan to pass it.

The AP reported Tuesday that federal prosecutors identified Clark as the budget executor who coordinated the supporters and fundraising drives.

Clark previously said he was writing a scrapbook about his time at the Ohio Statehouse.

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