Tennessee Republican state senator, Glen Casada, 63 and his former chief of staff, Cade Cothren, 35 were detained by the FBI on the morning of August 22 as a result of an indictment accusing them of engaging in a conspiracy to commit bribes and kickbacks. Both people will make their initial court appearances before a U.S. Magistrate Judge later on August 23.

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Who is Glen Casada?

American politician Richard Glen Casada Jr. represents District 63 (Williamson County) in the Tennessee House of Representatives as a member of the Republican Party. Between January 8 to August 2, 2019, he served as Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. On August 2, he announced his resignation due to a sexual and racial scandal. This was the shortest stint of a Tennessee Speaker of the House in modern history.

Glen Casada was born on August 2, 1959 in Jeffersonville, Indiana. In 1982, he received a B.S. in Agriculture and Education from Western Kentucky University. Casada won a seat on Williamson County’s County Commission in 1994. He was chosen to serve in the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2003.

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Casada was also one of the plaintiffs in the 2009 case ‘Captain Pamela Barnett v. Barack Hussein Obama’, which alleged that Obama was not an American citizen and so unqualified to serve as President of the United States.In Nashville, a law prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was attempted to be repealed by Casada in April 2011. Casada declared in November 2015 that he wanted to halt the admission of Syrian migrants to Tennessee. Additionally, he also wanted to hand over anyone currently present in the state to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In October 2016, Casada ran for re-election, which he won by more than 17,000 votes. He was then chosen as the Republican Majority leader in February 2017. Casada cast a Republican primary ballot for Ted Cruz and a general election ballot for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

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A local television station, WTVF, investigated many issues that surfaced in the speaker’s office in May 2019. First, it was discovered that Justin Jones, a local civil rights activist, may have been the target of an attempt by Cade Cothren, Casada’s chief of staff, to frame him for breaking a restraining order. A special prosecutor assigned to the case later determined that this assertion was untrue. According to the texts that were found, Casada and Cothren exchanged several sexually explicit and one racially offensive texts. Cothren resigned on May 6 and Casada resigned from his position as Speaker of the House on May 21, 2019, as a result of this scandal and other controversies.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation searched the homes and offices of many current and former Tennessee lawmakers in January 2021 as part of a probe into the laundering of campaign cash. Casada was one of them. Federal prosecutors claimed in court documents from March 2022 that Casada, his former chief of staff Cade Cothren, and former Tennessee House member Robin Smith all played significant roles in establishing the shady Phoenix Solutions public relations company in Chattanooga, which provided mail and consulting services for Tennessee General Assembly members as well as a means of laundering illegal campaign funds.

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Casada made the decision not to run for re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2022, citing the need for “a new chapter of public service.” Instead, Casada sought for the Republican nomination for Williamson County Clerk, where he was defeated by Jeff Whidby.