According to a statement released Friday by Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, a special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate claims that dates were changed on emails forwarded by members of his staff.
The emails in question were regarding a regular protestor at the State Capitol who has since been banned from the property.
Casada is also under fire for explicit text messages exchanged between him and his former Chief of Staff Cade Cothren. Cothren has since resigned from his position.
The House speaker has also been asked to resign by House members on both sides of the aisle.
Also on Friday, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally also told reporters in Knoxville that he believes Casada should leave his post. Similarly, Gov. Bill Lee told reporters on Thursday that he would have asked Casada to resign if he worked for him.
Casada confirmed his part in the text message scandal and apologized, announcing a 10-point “action plan” to keep things like this from happening again in the future. However, despite urging, he has made no indication that he plans to leave his leadership position at this time.
Statement from Speaker Glen Casada:
As we move into the weekend, I wanted to share a quick update on the immediate steps we are taking to follow up on the Action Plan released earlier this week to address recent issues and concerns.
Today I submitted a letter to the Chairman of the House Ethics Committee requesting that they issue an advisory opinion concerning my actions taken relative to the resignation of my former Chief of Staff. I welcome feedback from this bipartisan committee.
I have learned that a special prosecutor has been appointed by the District Attorney Generals’ Conference to begin investigating the email from Mr. Justin Jones that was forwarded by my former Chief of Staff to the local District Attorney. My desire is for this independent review to be completed as quickly and thoroughly as possible and for all of the facts to come out. To that end, I have instructed the Speaker’s office and the joint Legislative Information Services staff to fully and immediately comply with all requests for information related to that email made by the special prosecutor.
Finally, I support the call by some of my Republican members for an upcoming GOP Caucus meeting to continue to hear and address lingering concerns. I am confident the more my colleagues have actual facts before them the better.
We will continue to update you as we implement our Action Plan to bring clarity and transparency to this process, to reestablish trust where it has been broken, and to return to the people’s business.
This is a developing story.