State Watchdog Seeks Probe Of Utility Tied To Bribery Scheme

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio’s consumer watchdog wants a regulatory agency to investigate whether the state’s largest electric utility used customer money to fund an alleged $60 million bribery scheme involving one of Ohio’s most powerful politicians.

The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel late Tuesday asked the Public Utility Commission of Ohio to seek an independent investigation to determine whether FirstEnergy Corp. violated any state laws or regulations.

Federal officials say FirstEnergy spent the $60 million to help win passage of a $1 billion customer-funded bailout for two financially struggling Ohio nuclear plants owned by a FirstEnergy subsidiary until early this year.