Press Release

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Environmental and Consumer Organizations Call for Investigation into Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in Light of Sam Randazzo Indictment

COLUMBUS, OH – Following the recent indictment of former Public Utilities of Ohio (PUCO) Chairman Samuel Randazzo, several environmental and consumer organizations representing thousands of Ohioans across the state requested a comprehensive investigation into the Commission’s decisions during his time at the helm of this influential agency.

The letter, which can be viewed here, was sent to Inspector General Randall J. Meyer and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Environmental and consumer organizations calling for the PUCO investigation include Black Environmental Leaders Action Fund, Ohio Citizen Action, Ohio Consumers Power Alliance, Ohio Environmental Council, Power a Clean Future Ohio, Sierra Club Ohio, and Solar United Neighbors of Ohio.

These organizations specifically request the Inspector General to investigate: 

  • Any and all preferential treatment Ohio investor-owned utilities received from Mr. Randazzo, or other PUCO agents under his direction;
  • Any and all ex parte communications prohibited by R.C. 4903.81 between Mr. Randazzo, or PUCO agents under his direction, and Ohio investor-owned utilities; and
  • Any and all communications between Mr. Randazzo, or PUCO agents under his direction, and the Ohio legislature reasonably considered to support policies against the public interest of Ohioans.

On November 29, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio indicted Randazzo on 11 counts including bribery and embezzlement charges. The indictment alleges Randazzo accepted bribes from the FirstEnergy corporation in exchange for preferential treatment through his position as PUCO chair.

“The full scope of preferential treatment FirstEnergy and other Ohio utilities received from the PUCO under Randazzo’s leadership remains unknown,” Pete Bucher, chief of staff for the Ohio Environmental Council, said. “Yet again, Ohioans are experiencing another breach of trust — this time from an official whose responsibility was to ‘ensure financial integrity and service reliability in the Ohio utility industry.’ Ohioans deserve to know what benefit the PUCO bestowed these companies and how Randazzo’s allegedly unlawful activity impacted not only PUCO operations but  their families’ utility bills, too.”


Media Contact:
Marisa Twigg, Ohio Environmental Council