Protesters at the Ohio Statehouse

A group of consumers and environmental and democracy organizations held a press conference at the Thomas Worthington Center on May 29 to demand that Ohio Attorney General David Yost dissolve FirstEnergy Corporation for its central role in the massive bribery scheme to pass House Bill 6. Members of the FirstEnergy Accountability Coalition at the Ohio Statehouse urged Yost, who has filed a civil suit against the company, to dissolve the company pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code 2923.34(B)(3).

Activists dressed as Ida B. Wells and 1920s reporters pointed out to the crowd that citizens have the right to dissolve corporations.

FirstEnergy Accountability Coalition members believe it’s time to hold FirstEnergy accountable in proportion to the scale of its historic admitted crime of a $61 million payment in 2021 to a nonprofit secretly operated by former GOP Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder (now in prison) and another $4.3 million payment to the state’s top utility regulator, Sam Randazzo, who was recently indicted and is now deceased. The bribes were intended to pass House Bill 6 (HB6), a $1.3 billion bailout of two FirstEnergy antiquated, failing nuclear power plants, which would have cost ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Brief statements from those presenting at the press conference:

"Fines and settlements do little to deter corporate misconduct, and I think we all know that. What is the real difference between a fine and a bribe, when FirstEnergy can just pay the government and go back to generating profit off Ohioans? Ohio's leaders must use the law to make FirstEnergy face real consequences for the harm they caused." 

Tabitha M. Woodruff, Esq., Ohio National Lawyers Guild

“FirstEnergy should be dissolved for lying about their nuclear plants being unprofitable, bribing politicians into handing them Ohioans’ hard-earned tax dollars, and when that failed - surprise - keeping Davis-Besse and Perry running.” 

Patricia Marida, Ohio Nuclear Free Network,

"The FirstEnergy scandal belies the business-as-usual corruption of the Ohio Statehouse, where it is standard practice for the energy industry to buy politicians. Our supermajority gerrymandered legislature has pushed through law after law squashing solar and wind while rigging the system for oil and gas. A good example is HB 507, a bill about poultry chicks, stuffed with amendments declaring fracked gas to be 'green' energy and mandating fracking of our state parks and public lands. Such laws do not represent the will of the people, and the companies that pay for them need to be held accountable -- starting with pulling the plug on FirstEnergy." 

Cathy Cowan Becker, Steering Committee, Save Ohio Parks

“FirstEnergy’s historic bribery scheme undermines our democracy and harms our environment. Dissolving the corporation is the proportionate response. As Greens, we stand firmly on our Consumer Protection plank, advocating for transparency, fairness, and affordability for all Ohioans.” 

Philena Farley, Ohio Green Party Co-Chair

“As a Professional Civil Engineer in and for the State of Ohio, I am but one of ninety-three professions requiring a license to operate in this State. I can lose my license if I do not comply with the code of ethics, continuing education requirements and the law. Similarly, if FEC is a corporate “person”, shouldn’t it lose its Charter, or is the biggest bribery and corruption scandal in Ohio’s history not considered a minor misdemeanor in this State?”

Joseph A. Mosyjowski, P.E.

”We cannot allow the corporation behind the largest public corruption scandal in Ohio history to get a pass on undermining our democracy.” 

Deb Hogshead, Move to Amend Miami County

“By any measure, FirstEnergy has failed, and failed spectacularly, to meet its chartered obligations to its consumers and to all Ohioans who value their health, the environment, and our democracy.” 

Sandy Bolzenius, Central Ohio Move to Amend

“Corporate charters or licenses were originally meant to define corporate actions. When corporations failed to follow the provisions of their charter, including breaking the law, they were often revoked – less as a punishment to the company than to protect Ohioans and our direct and representative democracy.” 

Greg Coleridge, National Co-Director, Move to Amend

Following the press conference, Coalition members and supporters marched across the street to the office of Attorney General David Yost. The march will feature banners, signs and handouts calling for Yost to “Unplug FirstEnergy.” A request has been sent to the Attorney General asking for a meeting to discuss corporate dissolution of the admitted corporate criminal, FirstEnergy.