KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee lawmakers are reacting to controversies surrounding House Speaker Glen Casada, some calling for his resignation.
The new allegations surrounding the House Speaker and his former Chief of Staff Cade Cothren indicate that the top aide was allegedly able to eavesdrop on committee rooms where many people, like lawmakers and lobbyists, were having, what was believed to be, private conversations when committees were not in session.
The tipping point for Cothren’s resignation may have been where “sexually explicit” text messages reported in the Tennessean late Monday that Cothren allegedly sent during a period of time in 2014-2016.
On Tuesday, speaking to a Nashville radio station, Casada said he has no intention of resigning his position in the wake of the texting scandal.
Now, lawmakers representing East Tennessee districts are speaking out, many hoping to see a change in leadership.
Yesterday the Speaker asked me my opinion on the situation and I told him I thought he should step down. I thought that was the best course of action.
-Bill Dunn, (R)-Knoxville
If Casada resigns, Dunn would be next in line for the speaker position.
Other Republican leaders say they want to see change.
“This is not normal. What is happening in nashville now, is not normal,” said David Hawk, (R)-Greene County.
Hawk says he sent a reply to Casada’s Monday email suggesting he resign, but did not receive a reply.
Rep. Jeremy Faison, said Casada’s actions “are not representative of me, my family, TN, or my GOP Caucus.”
There is no way for him to be an effective leader of the TN House of Representatives after what he has been complicit to.
-Jeremy Faison, (R)-Cocke/Jefferson Counties
The concerns go beyond party lines.
“This has nothing to do with party. Everyone in this state and in this country deserves honesty and integrity from their elected official, regardless of party. This is about doing the right thing and serving every constiuent that you have,” said Gloria Johnson, (D)-Knoxville.