Beachwood City Councilman Eric Synenberg withdrew his resolution that would have called for First-Energy’s name to be removed from the Cleveland Browns Stadium at city council’s June 21 meeting.
Synenberg said he did not believe he had the votes to pass the resolution.
He told the Cleveland Jewish News June 7 that his resolution was modeled after similar resolutions passed by city councils in Cleveland and Lakewood.
“The Cleveland Browns stadium is funded by the city as well as Cuyahoga County,” Synenberg said. “Beachwood is part of Cuyahoga County. We do pay taxes to Cuyahoga County, so I think we absolutely have standing as a city to let the public know that we don’t agree with a publicly funded stadium being called FirstEnergy Stadium since FirstEnergy is in the midst of this investigation.”
As part of ongoing public corruption prosecutions, FirstEnergy Corp. was charged federally with conspiring to commit honest services wire fraud and agreed to pay a $230 million monetary penalty, according to an FBI news release dated July 22, 2021. The company also signed a deferred prosecution agreement at that time that could potentially result in dismissal of the charge.
FirstEnergy is accused of using millions of dollars to influence the state regarding the passage of House Bill 6, which called for taxpayers to bail out the aging Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants, both owned by FirstEnergy subsidiaries. The Senate passed the bill 19-12 on July 17, 2019, and the House passed it 51-38 on July 23, 2019, the same day Gov. Mike DeWine signed it.