Republican Tennessee state Rep. Glen Casada was arrested on Tuesday by the FBI for bribery and conspiracy along with his former chief of staff, according to the Daily Caller.
Casada, 63, and Cade Cothren, 35, were both charged with conspiracy to commit theft on programs receiving federal funds and bribery kickbacks concerning programs receiving federal funds, according to the Justice Department.
They are also charged with honest wire services fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in an alleged bribery and kickback scheme involving a sham mailing service.
The mailing service, Phoenix Solutions, was allegedly headed by a fictitious person, Matthew Phoenix, and collected bribes and kickbacks from candidates and fees for mailing services from the state.
An unnamed conspirator worked with Casada and Cothren on the scheme, which allegedly netted them $51,947 from the state.
The FBI is still investigating, but the men could get 20 years in prison if convicted of the crimes.
Casada’s home was raided in January 2021 and in March of this year, multiple subpoenas were issued in the case.
Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R) testified in front of a grand jury earlier this year, and on Tuesday Sexton said public corruption would not be tolerated.
“In Tennessee, we will not tolerate public corruption, defrauding our state, or bribery at any level,” Sexton said. “I commend the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its hard work, diligence, and dedication that resulted in this morning’s arrests.”
Sexton added that he had been assisting with corruption investigations in the state since 2019.
Not the first offense
It was not the first time that Casada has been accused of wrongdoing. He stepped down from his previous position as state House speaker in 2019 after he was accused of sending racist texts to Cothren.
If these current charges stick, Casada will no doubt have to leave state service altogether, likely for good.