Speed Reads

Abuse of power

Former Tennessee speaker arrested, faces 20-count indictment

Tennessee's former House Speaker, Glen Casada, and his former chief of staff, Cade Cothren, were apprehended Tuesday morning on federal charges ranging from bribery to conspiracy to commit money laundering, The Associated Press reports.

The pair allegedly operated political consulting firm Phoenix Solutions, LLC, under a concealed identity to hide their involvement as they funneled money to themselves. 

"It was further part of the conspiracy for Casada and the other conspirator to enrich themselves by obtaining bribes and kickbacks from Cothren, in exchange for securing the approval of Phoenix Solutions as a mailer program vendor," a Justice Department news release said.

Casada and Cothren were arrested at their homes Tuesday following an initial FBI home search back in January 2021. 

"In Tennessee, we will not tolerate public corruption, defrauding our state or bribery at any level," current House Speaker Cameron Sexton told The Tennessean. "Today is a good day for Tennesseans because we did not turn a blind eye on these criminal activities."

They both face a 20-count indictment and could each face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.