Hearing set for Ohio nonprofit’s bribery scheme guilty plea


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has scheduled the guilty plea hearing for a nonprofit that authorities say was used as part of a $60 million bribery scheme.

Federal investigators say former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and others used the nonprofit Generation Now Inc. as a conduit for $60 million secretly provided by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. The money was allegedly used to gain legislative approval for a $1 billion bailout of two nuclear power plants operated by a FirstEnergy subsidiary.

Federal Judge Timothy Black set the hearing for Feb. 19. An agreement filed last week calls for Generation Now Inc. to plead guilty to one count of racketeering, the seizure of nearly $1.5 million from two bank accounts and a sentence of five years’ probation.

Generation Now, Householder and four of his associates were indicted in July of last year on racketeering charges. Two men have pleaded guilty. Householder, who was stripped of his leadership post but remains a state representative, has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial.

Generation Now attorney Robert Krapenc has declined to comment ahead of the hearing.