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Former Ohio GOP Chairman and Lobbyist Found Guilty of Bribery

For his involvement in the worst Bribery case in Ohio history, lobbyist Matt Borges of Ohio was given a five-year jail sentence on Friday. By taking responsibility and offering an apology before the judge, he escaped the considerably harsher penalty that the scheme’s creator, former House Speaker Larry Householder, had received the day before.


Nevertheless, Black chastised Borges for his part in denying Ohioans the chance to overturn a questionable nuclear plant bailout measure.

He said to Borges, “You didn’t care that you were helping an Ohio House speaker to destroy the basic core of our democracy. “You just wanted a piece of it because you saw everyone else getting fat and wealthy.”

The fact that Black acknowledged being affected by Borges’ admission of guilt, however, may have helped him avoid receiving the maximum sentence of 5 to 8 years that federal prosecutors requested. Nevertheless, the court ordered Borges into immediate prison and rejected any argument that he should merely receive the 1 1/2 years or the six months sought by his counsel or cooperative witnesses.

“Bye, babe,” was heard being said by shackled Borges as he turned to face his wife Kate, who had made an emotional appeal for mercy to the judge. He got a kiss from her.

In March, a jury found Householder and Borges guilty, finding that Householder planned and Borges took part in a $60 million bribery scheme surreptitiously sponsored by the Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. in order to maintain Householder’s authority, support the election of his cronies, and enact and defend a $1 billion bailout for the nuclear facility. Borges was specifically discovered to have proposed a bribe in return for insider knowledge on a referendum campaign intended to overturn the bailout law.

With the help of his defence team, Borges distanced himself from Householder, previously one of Ohio’s most influential Republican leaders, throughout the trial. He even made an audible remark in front of the jury that he didn’t even like the defendant.

After Householder testified on the stand during their trial that Borges was not one of his confidantes, the younger Republican decided not to testify on his own side.