NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Speaker-elect Cameron Sexton is asking the Tennessee Attorney General for his opinion on whether embattled Rep. David Byrd can be expelled from office.
Sexton, R-Crossville, said the allegations against Byrd, R-Waynesboro, are serious, describing the situation as complex and unprecedented.
This all comes more than a year after News4 Investigates first exposed that three women accused Byrd of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was their basketball coach at Wayne County High School.
Those accusations happened before Byrd was in the legislature and all Byrd has said is that he’s done “nothing wrong since becoming a lawmaker.”
A state representative will call for the ouster of a fellow lawmaker on Friday when the House of Representatives convene on Friday.
Sexton wants to know if Attorney General Herbert Slatery feels they can expel a member for potential misconduct that occurred prior to that member serving in the legislature.
“These allegations are serious, and this situation is complex and unprecedented,” Sexton said in the letter to Slatery. “The Tennessee House of Representatives has rules that govern our body, and we follow those rules. After consulting with Republican leadership, I am asking the Attorney General to formulate an opinion as to whether we can remove a member for potential misconduct prior to that member serving in the legislature. This will ensure due process, clarify any constitutionality questions raised, and guarantee we are operating within legal parameters because of the timeframe in which this alleged behavior occurred.”
Slattery's office said on Wednesday afternoon that it did not expect to have an opinion issued prior to Friday's session.
The letter to Slatery comes before one of Byrd’s fellow House members, Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, wants to introduce a resolution on Friday in which the House would vote to expel him.
The General Assembly has been called into special session on Friday to vote for a new Speaker of the House after the resignation of Glen Casada, R-Franklin, in May, which became effective on Aug. 2.
The Republican Caucus picked Sexton as its candidate to succeed Casada. Democrats are not expected to nominate a Speaker candidate. The Republican party holds a majority of the seats in the House.
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