Speed Reads

Bipartisan Boot

Texas GOP lawmaker resigns before expulsion for sex with inebriated 19-year-old aide, may be expelled anyway

Texas state Rep. Bryan Slaton (R) resigned Monday, a day before he faced near-certain expulsion in the state House following an investigation into his conduct with young female legislative aides and interns. Specifically, a report released Saturday concluded that Stanton had invited a 19-year-old aide over to his condo in Austin on the night of March 31, gave her three large cups of rum and coke, had unprotected sex with her later that night, then tried to intimidate the unidentified woman and her friends to keep them silent.

Due to the large amount of alcohol, the aide "could not effectively consent to intercourse and could not indicate whether it was welcome or unwelcome," the report from the General Investigations Committee concluded. The five-member panel unanimously endorsed expelling Slaton.

Slaton, 45, was one of the Texas House's most socially conservative members. He is married and has served as a Southern Baptist youth and family minister. In his resignation letter to Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Slaton said he looks forward to "spending more time with my young family" and did not mention the sexual misconduct that led to his departure. He did not show up on the House floor Monday. 

Slaton's "resignation gave no apology to the young woman he violated, his wife whom he betrayed, or his district that he failed," Rep. Steve Toth (R) wrote on social media. "No remorse. No acceptance of responsibility. ... That was the resignation of a narcissist."

Rep. Andrew Murr (R), chairman of the House General Investigations Committee, said he will still call up his motion to expel Slaton on Tuesday. "Under Texas law he is considered to be an officer of this state until a successor is elected and takes the oath of office to represent Texas House District 2," he wrote on Facebook.

By the time Slaton submitted his resignation on Monday, a growing number of colleges, the Texas Republican Party, and former backers including the Texas Right to Life anti-abortion group called for his exit. Abbott cannot call a special election to fill Slaton's seat before the legislative session ends in late May, The Texas Tribune reports.