NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - There is a growing number of Republicans who are calling for Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada to resign.
The speaker reached out to the Republican Caucus in a conference call at noon on Wednesday. The call was described as somber.
Tennessee Democrats are calling for a federal investigation after hearing that House Speaker Glen Casada’s staff may have been listening to and watching meetings they thought were private.
What is the protocol for removing an elected official in Tennessee?
It would take some doing and a majority of Republicans would have to sign off on it.
But there is one immediate problem right now - lawmakers are on break after completing work last week.
Here is how the process would need to play out to bring them back for any vote on the issue.
Lawmakers don't return for their next session of the legislature until January.
Two things would have to happen: wait until the new session begins in January or call a special session of the House.
Here’s where it gets tricky.
If Gov. Bill Lee doesn't call a special session, it would take a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly to vote, for what is called an extraordinary session.
Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada issued a statement on Wednesday taking “complete ownership” of his inappropriate text messages about women exchanged with his former Chief of Staff Cade Cothren and expressing “my sincere disappointment” for the messages Cothren sent to another person that included racial slurs, drug use and other inappropriate comments.
An extraordinary session has occurred twice, in 1971 and 1982.
Once the 99 members of the House convene, it would take 50 house members, a majority, to vote a representative out.
Casada reached out to the Republican Caucus to muster support.
The call was described by House Majority Whip Rick Tillis as tense and somber, with some members calling for Casada to resign.
Tillis said calling a special session of the legislature looks like a real possibility at this point.
"The Governor would have to call the special session, depends on what comes forward in the coming days,” said Tillis. “The membership stating a lack of confidence in Speaker Casada might require the Governor to take action. I would think with some of the people who have come forward, I think that's a real possibility.”