Jay Edwards

Jay Edwards during a House session in 2017. Photo courtesy of The Ohio House of Representatives.

State Rep. Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville), asked in the hallways of the Ohio House of Representatives on Tuesday to comment on his vote to not expel indicted former speaker Larry Householder from the chamber, declined to speak, saying he would put out a statement at an unspecified time.

His refusal to speak on the vote followed the representative ducking numerous text messages, phone calls and emails seeking comment on his decision to oppose removing the former speaker from office after many Republicans voted to oust him in the wake of his indictment related to what’s been described by the federal investigators as a $60 million bribery scheme to pass nuclear bailout legislation.

Edwards, who in the past was appointed by Householder to serve in his leadership team as majority whip, has long said the former speaker, his personal friend, “deserves an untainted day in court.” Householder was expelled from the chamber last Wednesday in a 75-21 vote, with 20 Republicans and one Democrat casting to keep him in office.

When pressed by reporters outside the House Finance Committee room, Edwards again declined to directly explain his vote not to expel Householder, saying he would be issuing a statement whenever he “feel(s) like putting it out.”

“You’ll just have to stay tuned and you’ll see when we put it out,” he said.

The legislator, in an effort to exit the conversation, stepped into an elevator. When reporters followed him in, he claimed to be waiting for somebody and stepped out.

Reporters followed him out and Edwards continued to say a statement was forthcoming, and implied reporters were out of line.

“I don’t think this is the way journalism works,” he said.

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