Sometimes, people do the right things for the wrong reasons.
At 10:30 a.m., the Tennessean broke the news Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada had removed Rep. David Byrd as chair of the House Education Subcommittee.
Byrd, of course, is the former girls basketball coach accused by several of his former high school players of sexually assaulting them – some in exchange for court time – in the 1980s. In a taped conversation with Christi Rice, one of the victims, Byrd apologized to her saying he “prays every week” about what he did to her, although he doesn’t give specifics on what he asks forgiveness for.
For months, supporters of Rice and other women involved have been asking Casada to remove Byrd as chair of the committee: It’s a clear slap in the face of education supporters to appoint an accused sexual predator to chair an education committee, but Casada maintained in a taped face-to-face interview with former congressional candidate and Holler editor Justin Kanew: “(Byrd) will do a good job.”
TN State Rep. David Byrd admitted on tape to sexual misconduct with female players he coached. His own party asked him to step down. He refused.
— Justin Kanew (@Kanew) February 19, 2019
However, today’s removal of Byrd comes one day after the former educator voted against one of Casada and right-wing Governor Bill Lee’s pet projects: Education vouchers.
So, did Casada strip Byrd of his duties because a) the pressure from victim advocates got to him, b) the father of daughters and grandfather of girls finally saw the problem with having a molester as chair of a committee, or c) he wanted retribution for Byrd’s vote?
Casada hasn’t said, but sometimes people do the right thing for the wrong reasons.
Emily Tseffos, leader of Enough is Enough -Tennessee, had this to say:
“This is a good first step but it’s not enough. This campaign will continue until David Byrd is no longer in public office.”
This is a developing story.