‘Integrity matters’: Constituents shocked after Rep. Casada, Cothren arrest

Rep. Glen Casada's constituents are "shocked" over his arrest. WSMV's Brendan Tierney reports.
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 5:42 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennessee State Representative Glen Casada and his former Chief of Staff, Cade Cothren, were arrested Tuesday morning on bribery and kickbacks using federal funds, according to the Justice Department.

Casada has held office in Williamson County for nearly 30 years, first as a county commissioner, then as a state representative. His constituents said they were shocked to hear the person they trusted to represent their area had been arrested on these serious charges, making it the talk of the town in Franklin.

People like Melanie Tomczak said they never expected something like this to happen and are upset their tax dollars were possibly wasted as part of this case.

“Integrity always matters,” Tomczak said. “Male or female, from a state level, from a federal level, from the FBI all the way down to Tennessee. I think that’s what people want: to be able to trust the integrity of elected officials.”

Other Franklin residents, like Teresa Bennett, said they don’t trust the FBI to investigate anything right now and want to wait for a final ruling at a trial before losing belief in their elected officials.

“This man has been a (public) servant, so I want to give him the benefit of the doubt,” Bennett said. “I don’t assume guilt based on a charge. I think there is way too much of that in our world today.”

Bennett said she believes the truth will come out in due time as the legal process unfolds.

Casada did not run for reelection to his House seat this year and instead lost the race for county clerk. People in Franklin said they are glad these charges will not impact who they would vote for in November.