NASHVILLE (WSMV) - House Speaker Glen Casada denied allegations that his office promised projects for members' districts if they voted in favor of the Educational Savings Account bill.

Casada had announced plans to resign as Speaker in May, a day after Tennessee House Republicans voted 45-24 that they do not have confidence in Casada filling the role. Gov. Lee also called for Tennessee's General Assembly to meet and select Casada's replacement on August 23. 

Casada posted the following statement on his Facebook account:

Any allegation regarding a quid quo pro from the Office of the Speaker for a vote on the ESA bill, or any bill, in unequivocally false." 

Legislators have interests they must consider on every vote. That is the job of representing a district of diverse constituencies. Balance and compromise are hallmarks our founders intended for the legislative process. It is why we have a legislative process.

To suggest, however, the Office of the Speaker has the authority to trade infrastructure projects for votes is false. Any project that has a cost must be funded in the state budget, subject to public scrutiny and the approval of the General Assembly and the Governor. The Office of the Speaker does not direct the expenditure of public funds. Anyone who thinks so is mistaken. Anyone who says so is not telling the truth.

I also have been made aware of an allegation that I promised a member a promotion in the Tennessee National Guard in exchange for his vote. I did not. The Office of the Speaker does not have the authority to hire or promote persons in the Executive Branch. That power belongs solely to the Governor.

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WSMV Digital Content Producer

A New York City native and a graduate of the Mizzou School of Journalism, Ethan joined the WSMV Digital Team in June 2019. Send him story ideas, food recommendations and sports topics to Ethan.Illers@wsmv.com and follow him on Twiiter @EthanIllers_TV!

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