Chairman of agency that oversees Ohio’s energy industry resigns

Sam Randazzo
Sam Randazzo(Source: PUCO)
Updated: Nov. 20, 2020 at 12:00 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The chairman of Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Sam Randazzo, who oversees the state’s energy industry, has resigned effective immediately.

FBI agents searched his Columbus home Monday.

According to FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren, they conducted a court-authorized law-enforcement activity in that area related to a sealed federal search warrant.

There were no arrests and none are planned at this time, Lindgren said.

Randazzo submitted his resignation letter to Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday.

“The impression left by an FBI raid on our home, the statement included in FirstEnergy Corp.’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday and the accompanying publicity will, right or wrong, fuel suspicions about and controversy over decisions I may render in my current capacity. In present times, when you, good sir, are valiantly battling to save Ohioans from the surging attack of COVID-19, there is no room or time for me to be a distraction. Accordingly, I hereby resign from my position as Chair effective immediately,” his letter do Gov. DeWine reads.

Read his full resignation letter below:

Randazzo was appointed to the agency and designated chairman by Gov. Mike DeWine last year, according to his biography on the PUCO’s website.

While authorities have not said why Randazzo’s residence was searched, it comes after the FBI arrested former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others in July who were involved in the passage of House Bill 6, which will send $1 billion to two nuclear plants formerly owned by a FirstEnergy subsidiary through new charges on Ohioans’ electricity bills.

[ Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, 4 others arrested in $61 million bribery case ]

If convicted, Householder faces up to 20 years in prison.

He has pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing.

As per statute, PUCO Vice Chairman M. Beth Trombold will be the acting PUCO Chairman until a new chairman is named.

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