Newark Republican Jay Hottinger said he held ambitions to run for Congress so he met in 2001 with Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, who held sway over whether the new congressional district map lines would be drawn in Hottinger's favor in 2001.
Hottinger said when the two met, Householder asked for cash from Hottinger in exchange for drawing the map to his advantage.
"They have these lines they want me to draw for you for Congress. Give me $10,000 a year in perpetuity and we can make it happen," Hottinger recalls Householder saying. Hottinger declined and the meeting ended.
Hottinger said a favorable map would have pitted him against Democrat Ted Strickland, who lived in Scioto County.
"I have never talked to Jay Hottinger about drawing congressional lines," Householder said in a text. "There was NEVER any consideration of drawing a map from Licking County (Jay) to Scioto County (Ted.) It may have been in Jay's head but it wasn't in anyone else's, that I was ever aware of."
Previously, Householder has said that he has never received, solicited or been offered a bribe or sold legislation.
Hottinger said he didn't report the conversation to the FBI or any other law enforcement agency. Hottinger said it was unclear whether Householder wanted the payments to his campaign or a personal account.
FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren said, "We appreciate this information, but have no comment to provide at this time."
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Householder served as speaker from 2001 to 2004 and from 2019 to July 2020 when he was indicted in a public corruption case.
Householder was expelled from the Ohio House last month. He has pleaded not guilty to racketeering in U.S. District Court.
Hottinger has served as a state lawmaker since 1995.
Laura Bischoff 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.