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Friday, February 12, 2021

City Council Issues Two New Subpoenas, Wants to Learn Extent of FirstEnergy's Dark Money in Cleveland

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2021 at 2:25 PM

  • Larry Householder/ Photo via Ohio House of Representatives

After issuing a subpoena last week to determine the unknown funding sources of a nonprofit designed to discredit and destroy Cleveland Public Power, Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley signed two new subpoenas Friday, council announced.

These subpoenas are targeting both the Delaware and Ohio iterations of Generation Now, the nonprofit which last week pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in the $60 million bribery scandal that has embroiled the Ohio statehouse since last year.

Council's goal, as with the subpoena seeking information about Consumers Against Deceptive Fees, is to determine how dark money from FirstEnergy was used in Cleveland, specifically to undercut the public utility.

Generation Now, in its guilty plea, acknowledged that it served as a pass-through organization to funnel contributions from FirstEnergy to former House Speaker Larry Householder and others in order to secure passage of House Bill 6, the legislation authorizing a $1 billion+ bailout of two Ohio nuclear facilities, which were then owned by FirstEnergy.

Generation Now also provided at least $200,000 in funding to Consumers Against Deceptive Fees. Council wants to know how else the money was used in Cleveland. 

“We are waiting for information from Consumers Against Deceptive Fees, but we know that they received much more than the $200,000 that tracked back to another FirstEnergy dark money group,” said Council President Kelley, in a statement. “Generation Now seems to be the first stop for a huge amount of money that was then passed out. We want to know where it went and if it was used against the city of Cleveland and CPP.”

As with the subpoena for Consumer Against Deceptive Fees, these subpoenas request "the names and addresses of all entities, vendors and/or persons that received funds from Generation Now and Generation Now Ohio." Generation Now has 21 days to produce the documents requested.

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