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Is FirstEnergy a victim? Former executives say the company shouldn’t be labeled one

Former FirstEnergy CEO Charles "Chuck" Jones arrives in Summit County Court with his attorney Carole Rendon. Jones and another former executive Michael Dowling say FirstEnergy was not a crime victim.

Former FirstEnergy CEO Charles “Chuck” Jones arrives in Summit County Court together with his legal professional Carole Rendon. Jones and one other former government Michael Dowling say FirstEnergy was not a crime sufferer.

Akron-based FirstEnergy and its allies bankrolled one of Ohio’s largest corruption scandals. But state prosecutors now say the company ought to be labeled a sufferer of its former leaders’ actions.

Two former executives accused of bribing a top utility regulator aren’t shopping for it.

“FirstEnergy does not qualify as a victim under this constitutional standard for the fundamental reason that FirstEnergy is an admitted (and accused) co-conspirator and participant in the alleged crime,” wrote attorneys for former FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones and former Senior Vice President of External Affairs Michael Dowling.

FirstEnergy, its subsidiaries and its allies paid greater than $60 million to assist former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder win management of the Ohio House of Representatives, go a $1 billion bailout for 2 nuclear crops and defend that regulation towards a poll initiative to dam it.

Jones and Dowling are accused of bribing former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo with a $4.3 million cost to work on FirstEnergy’s behalf inside Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration. Both males have pleaded not guilty. Randazzo, who was additionally charged, died last month.

State prosecutors, together with Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s workplace, accused Jones and Dowling of stealing from FirstEnergy once they executed that $4.3 million contract with Randazzo. Using that premise, FirstEnergy was a sufferer of theft.

But FirstEnergy has already admitted it made that cost − and meant it to be a bribe, the ex-executives’ attorneys wrote.

Attorneys for the former executives argue that if FirstEnergy is designated a “victim,” the company would unfairly profit from guidelines meant to guard crime victims known as Marsy’s Law. That designation may stop Jones and Dowling from getting data or interviews from FirstEnergy or its workers.

“The state should not be permitted to gain unfair tactical advantages in a criminal prosecution by improperly designating FirstEnergy as a “victim,” especially when that designation contradicts FirstEnergy’s own admissions and the position the State has taken consistently and stridently in this case and elsewhere,” wrote attorneys Carole S. Rendon, who’s representing Jones, and John F. McCaffrey, who’s representing Dowling.

Another investigation into FirstEnergy

Meanwhile, state prosecutors are investigating FirstEnergy, the former executives’ attorneys wrote. FirstEnergy may be charged criminally or may enter into a deferred prosecution settlement, which might enable the company to keep away from prosecution in alternate for admitting wrongdoing and paying a penalty. State prosecutors additionally provided immunity to a number of former executives, in keeping with the submitting.

FirstEnergy entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors in 2021, admitted it bribed Randazzo and Householder and paid a $230 million effective.

More: FirstEnergy CEO says company may have to put ‘money on the table’ to move past scandal

Current FirstEnergy CEO Brian X. Tierney alluded to the doable decision of the state prison investigation in a latest earnings name, saying the company “could must put a little bit of cash on the desk.”

FirstEnergy is not a victim, former executives say by jbalmert on Scribd

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Akron Beacon Journal reporter Patrick Williams contributed to this article.

Jessie Balmert is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Ex-FirstEnergy executives say the company shouldn’t be a sufferer

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