MSN: COLUMBUS, Ohio — FirstEnergy Corp. collected hundreds of millions of dollars from utility customers in the name of using it to modernize its electric grid. But a new state-commissioned audit found no evidence that the money led the Akron-based utility to spend more on grid modernization.
The audit, released Friday by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, also found that FirstEnergy didn’t track how the money collected under its “distribution modernization rider” (or DMR) was spent, so auditors couldn’t tell whether any of it was spent on lobbying for the scandal-ridden House Bill 6 or increasing dividend payments to investors.
A prominent consumer advocacy group, however, is questioning whether this audit is tamer than a previous probe by a different auditing firm into the fee — noting that in 2020, FirstEnergy’s CEO at the time claimed that then-PUCO Chair Sam Randazzo (whom FirstEnergy has admitted to bribing) succeeded in preventing that firm from issuing a final report with harsher recommendations. more