From the Democratic Caucus:
Democratic Caucus Chair Mike Stewart today asked “where did all the money go?” Stewart demanded a full accounting into the financial dealings of outgoing Speaker Glen Casada’s Republican leadership team.
“All of these reports of no-show jobs, five figure raises for former interns and multi-million dollar expenditure increases need to be fully examined before we go into special session and vote on a new Speaker. The Republicans cannot be permitted to use the Special Session to sweep these issues under the rug and hide the truth from the citizens who were forced to foot the bill for all this nonsense.”
Representative Gloria Johnson added:
“The reports we have read about misspent money are deeply offensive to the citizens of my district; these taxpayers are entitled to know what happened to every cent of their hard-earned tax dollars.”
Stewart called on a three-pronged approach to determine how funds were misspent, misallocated and/or misused during the Speaker’s administration:
- A full financial audit by the comptroller’s office into spending on purchases, salaries and allocations made by the Speaker’s office since Casada’s election.
- The appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the no-show jobs held by employees of the Speaker’s office.
- An open records release of all financial records, receipts, timesheets and other documents for full public review.
Chairman Stewart urged that all requests need to be completed before the called special session August 23rd, saying:
“Otherwise, we risk the possibility that the Republicans will just put one of Casada’s cronies in as Speaker in an effort to sweep evidence of financial malfeasance under the rug. If that happens, the taxpayers will never really know the full cost of the Casada Gravy Train and those that got the money will never be held accountable.”
Speaking of no-show jobs, the Holler has been told Michael Lotfi, who was on the receiving end of one of Casada’s no-show jobs and was attacked child sex abuse survivors while on the payroll, is still handling social media for Tennessee House Republicans.