Larry Householder’s portrait quietly removed from Ohio Statehouse after corruption conviction

COLUMBUS—Ex-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder’s official portrait has been taken down from the halls of the Ohio Statehouse following his conviction on a federal corruption charge.

The portrait of Householder, who served as House speaker from 2001-2004 and again in 2019-2020, formerly hung in a hallway outside the House speaker’s office alongside other portraits of former speakers. However, the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board took the painting down with little fanfare on Wednesday, said Laura Battocletti, CSRAB’s executive director.

House Speaker Jason Stephens said in a statement that he ordered the portrait to be taken down. “It just didn’t need to be there,” Stephens said.

The portrait is being kept for now in a climate-controlled room in CSRAB’s offices in the basement of the Statehouse, Battocletti said. She declined a reporter’s request to see the portrait.

The portrait’s absence was first publicized online by state Rep. Brian Stewart, a Pickaway County Republican who helped lead the successful effort to expel Householder from the House in 2021, about a year after he was arrested by the FBI.

Householder’s portrait was first unveiled at the Statehouse in 2017, along with portraits of six other former speakers. While his portrait has been removed, he still appears in other nearby frames with photos of past speakers, as well as in group photos of House members in past legislative sessions.

The Perry County Republican was convicted in federal court last week of racketeering conspiracy for overseeing a $60 million bribery scheme to pass the House Bill 6 energy law, expand his political power, and enrich himself. He and Matt Borges, a former Ohio Republican Party chair who was also found guilty of participating in the scheme, have said they’re innocent and intend to appeal their convictions.

When Householder was elected speaker in 2019, he ordered the portrait of ex-Speaker Jo Ann Davidson to be moved from the House chamber to a less conspicuous room in the Statehouse. Davidson’s portrait was moved back when Republican Bob Cupp replaced Householder as speaker in 2020.