Many of the activities of the Boich Companies, owners of coal supplier Resource Fuels, are included in the 2021 federal deferred prosecution agreement signed by FirstEnergy, the Akron-based utility that admitted bribing its way to the passage of HB 6, the 2019 law that bailed out power plants tied to the company.

The deferred prosecution agreement signed by FirstEnergy lists the following contacts between FirstEnergy, public officials and representatives of Company C, which has been identified as the Boich Companies. Public Official B has been identified as Sam Randazzo, the former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, who was indicted on federal corruption charges related to the HB 6 scandal on Dec. 4.

Here are the references to Company C from the deferred prosecution agreement:

Boich executive “fighting to the end” for HB 6

On July 17, 2019, FES Executive A pleaded to Executive 1 that, “If we only end up w the 7 years I will do exactly as you say, which is say thank you and go back to my nose on the grindstone,” but, FES Executive A continued, “[t]hat said, is there anything we can do to get another year or 2? If that is not feasible and all hope is lost, can we get a 2 or 3 year extension option at year 7? We could base it on some type of test of whether FERC has given subsidies etc.” Executive 1 responded FES Executive A: “[State Official 2], [Public Official B], [Company C Executive] and [Official Aide 1] are fighting to the end and we’ve been talking to them all day. Conference on budget is ongoing and Speakers [sic] delegation is gonna try to negotiate budget movement for tenure on HB6. Everything that can be done is being done. If we don’t get it, we work to pass an addendum as soon as [Senator 3] is out.”

Boich executive working to get Randazzo appointed to PUCO

The plan to get Public Official B appointed PUCO chairman was successful. On February 4, 2019, Public Official B’s selection as the Chairman of PUCO was announced. That day Executive 1 texted Company C Executive, “Now work on the [Public Official B]/[Individual E] parlay. Once [Public Official B] is in he’ll help with [Individual E] and my Speaker friend will too.” The next day, Executive 1 texted Public Official B, “Congratulations!” Public Official B responded, “Thanks, [Executive 1] – the last four days have been tuff.” Public Official B went on, “Thanks goes to some great good friends.”

Boich executive warns allies “not to fuck … up” Randazzo opportunity

 The day Public Official B’s confirmation as PUCO became public, Company C Executive texted Executive 1: “Let’s try not to fuck this up,” while attaching an article announcing Public Official B was selected as the next PUCO Chair.

Boich’s Matt Evans on Mount Rushmore

About a week later, on July 23, 2019, House Bill 6 passed the legislature with the decoupling provision advocated by FirstEnergy Corp. That day, Executive 1 sent to Public Official B a photo-shopped image of Mount Rushmore with the face of Public Official B, alongside Executive 2, Ohio Director of State Affairs, and Company C Executive, imposed over the four presidential faces with the caption, “HB 6 FUCK ANYBODY WHO AINT US.” Public Official B commented that his picture was smaller than the others and then responded, “funny.”

FirstEnergy and Boich executive working on Randazzo to fill “Ohio 2024 hole”

On November 10, 2019, Executive 1 texted Company C Executive, “And, the FE rescue project is not over. At EEI financial conference. Stock is gonna get hit with Ohio 2024. Need [Public Official B] to get rid of the ‘Ohio 2024’ hole.” A few days later, on November 15, 2019, Executive 2 texted Executive 1, “I spoke with [Public Official B] today. Told me 2024 issue will be handled next Thursday (November 21).” Executive 2 later texted, “he’s going to make the requirement to file go away, but I do not know specifically how he plans to do it.”

Ray Locker is the executive director for Checks & Balances Project, an investigative watchdog blog holding government officials, lobbyists, and corporate management accountable to the public. Funding for C&BP is provided by Renew American Prosperity and individual donors.

You may also want to read:

HB6 enabled coal company that donated to Householder bribery fund to keep overcharging for coal

Coal supplier for HB6-connected plants continued to overcharge for fuel

PUCO’s protective order redacts publicly available information