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Cleveland Council president calls for repeal of House Bill 6

Cleveland Council president Kevin Kelley is sponsoring a resolution to repeal House Bill 6.

CLEVELAND — Last week, Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others were arrested and charged in an alleged scheme that's been called "the largest bribery case ever in Ohio."

On Wednesday, Cleveland Council President Kevin Kelley announced that he is sponsoring a resolution to repeal the bill at the center of that very scheme, House Bill 6.

The case against Householder alleges that FirstEnergy paid the defendants more than $60 million to 501(c)(4) Generation Now to pass and uphold a billion-dollar nuclear plant bailout and that the defendants corruptly used the money to promote Householder, pass House Bill 6, and defeat a ballot initiative to overturn the legislation. House Bill 6 bailed out Ohio's two fledgling nuclear power plants (including the Perry Nuclear Generating Station in Lake County).

According to Kelley, while a number of Cleveland residents who are Cleveland Public Power customers are not affected by the bailout, many Cleveland residents are FirstEnergy customers who will be forced to pay for the bailout once the bill kicks in. 

The resolution reads: "First Energy has another long-term public policy goal specific to the City of Cleveland -- namely, the restriction or destruction of Cleveland Public Power; and ... several of the tactics used in the charged racketeering conspiracy to enact HB6 are similar to tactics used by First Energy and their allies in Cleveland, including the use of phony citizen groups and the use of significant campaign funds and political pressure."

"This body asserts the City of Cleveland's right to operate its own municipal utility, Cleveland Public Power, and First Energy's attempts to restrict and/or destroy Cleveland Public Power through litigation, political pressure, or any other means, will be resisted to our utmost."

Last week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that while he believes the bailout is necessary, the way in which it was allegedly achieved has compromised the legislation. Therefore, DeWine said he is calling on the Ohio General Assembly to repeal and replace the bill.

On Thursday, the Ohio House plans to hold a vote to remove Householder from his position as speaker. Last week, DeWine called on him to resign from the position as well.