KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Republican Tennessee state representative is calling for Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally to step down for accusations related to his social media controversy according to a release from the representative.
Rep. Todd Warner from House District 92, said in the release that McNally “is a predator,” referencing the news related to McNally commenting on photos of a nearly nude, 20-year-old gay man on Instagram.
Warner’s release alleges that McNally groomed a victim beginning when they were 17 years old by “commenting relentlessly on nude photos from his official social media account, sending private messages, calling the victim on multiple occasions, and even offering him a job in the Lt. Governor’s office,” which the release continues to say the man says he was not qualified for. According to the release, McNally pursued similar inappropriate relationships before and during that timeframe.
The release from Warner states that since news broke of the social media scandal, McNally “scrubbed and erased the entirety of his Instagram account to hide the discovery of additional behavior.”
Not only did Warner call for McNally to step down as Lieutenant Governor in the release, but he also called for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to open an investigation to look into any possible violations of Tennessee criminal law, specifically relating to sexual exploitation of a minor.
“Let me be clear: these are not the actions of a “grandfather” working to “encourage” Tennesseans. These are the actions of a perverted 80-year-old man looking to fulfill his closeted sexual desires. These are the actions of man using his authority to manipulate others for sexual gratification. These are the actions of a hypocritical man caught redhanded in a scheme to take advantage of at least one underage young man.”Warner said in the release.
McNally issued the following statement in response:
“I serve at the pleasure of the members of the Senate and my caucus. As long as I have their confidence, I am committed to the important work of this state. We have several pieces of crucial legislation, as well as a budget, to pass. I remain committed to that critical work.”
Since the news broke of McNally’s Instagram usage, he announced he was “pausing” all social media activity, although his initial statement was that he “had no intention of stopping.” McNally also responded to the accusations of hypocrisy between his online actions and the legislation he has enacted.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated.