The governor defended his decision to appoint the utility law expert.
DeWine reassigned Laurel Dawson, the chief of staff who oversaw Randazzo’s selection process, in a May staff reshuffle described as unrelated. The governor’s main lobbyist, Dan McCarthy, is a former FirstEnergy lobbyist who was chairman of one of the black money groups involved in the alleged bribery scheme. McCarthy said his actions were legal and that he has no indication that he is the target of the investigation.
Still, Ohio Democrats have taken advantage of the ongoing investigation in their efforts to reverse Republican dominance in state politics next year, which is over. The party controls all state offices, both houses of the state legislature and the Ohio Supreme Court, with many of those seats up for grabs.
In May, Democratic state officials Allison Russo and Bride Rose Sweeney reintroduced an anti-corruption bill aimed at shedding light on black money and other political spending in the state.
The following month, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley, mayor of Dayton, unveiled a four-point plan to “fight corruption and restore ethics in Ohio.”
Within weeks and with mounting political pressure, a several-month legislative deadlock on whether to remove the head of the family was broken. The effort to expel Householder was ultimately defended by two Republicans.