State lawmakers react to indictment of former TN House Speaker
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Disappointment and concern for public trust in the Tennessee state legislature were some of the reactions from Both sides of the aisle in response to the indictment of Former Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada and his former chief of staff Cade Cothren.
“He [Glen Casada] deserves due process. He and Cade Cothren deserve their due process. I’m disappointed that this is a black eye on the legislature as a whole. People already distruconcernst the government,” said State Representative Vincent Dixie, Tennessee House Democratic Caucus Chairman. “They already feel like they’re slimy and not doing the right thing, and we’re out for money. This proves the point that, yes, some of their nightmares are becoming true. But I want to; I’m here to assure you that that’s not the case. That’s an outlier,” he added.
It was a 20-count indictment on Former Speaker of the House Glen Casada and His Former Chief Of Staff, Cade Cothren.
Legislature is not in session, but WSMV 4′s Tosin Fakile walked the halls at Cordell Hull and knocked on doors of republican lawmakers to get a reaction.
Tennessee Speaker of House Camron Sexton released a statement. In the statement, with a strong reaction to what happened, he also said he’s been cooperating since the investigation.
Here is Sexton’s statement:
Two state republican leaders also sent a joint statement. This joint statement is from House Majority Leader William Lamberth And House Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison:
“I believe that this particular incident is bringing some light to what goes in these dark alleys in these halls in the legislature, and hopefully we can get past that, we can restore the faith in our communities, in our constituents,” Representative Dixie said.
Dixie also told WSMV 4 that there are some other things that need to come to light at the state legislature.
“But what he does and the pressuring and the arm twisting that they do. It continually goes on. It’s not that; it just stopped the buck with him, there are things that still go on, and everything will come to light in due time,” Dixie said. “There’s a lot of arm twisting and pressuring to get votes. With the Educational spending account, that’s basically how this came about and started many things. So the way that they pressure their members to vote; a lot of them don’t have those beliefs, but because of the pressure, they’re worried about getting primaried. I would say a lot of misconduct that goes on in this legislature that needs to be stopped,” he added.
Tennessee House Minority Leader Karen Camper also released a statement:
Casada’s indictment involves fraud to get state funds for a mailer program.
WSMV 4′s Tosin Fakile talked to Representative Dixie about the verification process legislature goes through for the companies they deal with
“First of all, for me, I can only speak for our process. I will definitely interview the company; look at their website. ask for references. and I actually pick up the call the references, " Dixie said. “I find it a little disturbing that process couldn’t have taken place for this Matthew Phoenix or this Phoenix Solutions or phoenix company to get to that point that they were doing business and not just one state representative but multiple representatives,” he added.
A statement also was released from the Governor’s Spokesperson on Tuesday afternoon after news of Casada’s indictment in the morning.
Representative Dixie said hopefully, this is a wake-up call to the voters.
“To get out to the poles and actually pick people that want to represent them who have their best interest at heart,” Dixie said. " I would hope that people will wake up and look and say are these people representing me like I would want to be represented? Do they have my best interest at heart? If the answer is no, get out there, go vote and take two friends with you,” he added.
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