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FBI names new agent in charge for Cincinnati office

FBI names new agent in charge for Cincinnati office

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CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati office of the FBI has a new leader, who will oversee the biggest public corruption investigation in Ohio history.

J. William Rivers was named to the post Monday. He succeeds Chris Hoffman, who has retired.

Rivers was raised in Grayson, Ky., and earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from University of Kentucky. He joined the FBI in 2002 as an agent in the Washington field office assigned to counterintelligence.

He was named assistant special agent in charge in the Norfolk, Va. field office in 2018 and two years later was promoted to director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center, which coordinates bomb-related evidence and intelligence collection for the federal government.

In his new job, Rivers will oversee FBI operations in the southern half of Ohio, including Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton.

The office's public corruption team has been probing an alleged $60 million bribery scheme in which FirstEnergy Corp. reputedly paid former Republican Speaker Larry Householder to orchestrate the passage of a $1 billion bailout of two nuclear plants owned by its then-subsidiary and to squelch a repeal effort.

Householder has pleaded not guilty and denies wrongdoing.

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