COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — FBI agents were at the farm of Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder on Tuesday morning, hours ahead of a planned announcement of a $60 million bribe investigation by federal prosecutors.
FBI agents were carrying out “law enforcement activity” on Householder's property in Glenford in southeastern Ohio, FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren said, without providing details. The Perry County Sheriff’s Office also confirmed it was assisting the FBI at Householder’s farm.
Lindgren noted the upcoming news conference by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, David DeVillers, whose office planned to announce “charges related to $60 million bribe to state official & associates.”
A message was left with Householder. The Republican is in his second stint as House speaker following his tenure in the same position in the from 2001 to 2004.
Householder, a veteran lawmaker, returned to state politics in 2016 after leaving more than a decade ago because of term limits.
At the time he left office, he and several top advisers were under federal investigation for alleged money laundering and irregular campaign practices. The government closed the case without filing charges.
After returning to the Ohio House fours years ago, Householder won a contentious fight to become House speaker in 2019.