Former Speaker of the House in the Tennessee legislature, Glen Casada, was arrested on multiple charges of corruption. Casada was one of the leaders of the state Republican Party. His singular achievement as leader was pushing through a hotly-contested voucher bill by one vote.

FormerTennessee House Speaker Glen Casada and his one-time top aide Cade Cothren have been indicted on federal charges following a months-long corruption investigation.

Both face charges ranging from money laundering to bribery and were arrested Tuesday morning, according to a Department of Justice spokesperson.

Casada and Cothren were brought into federal court in handcuffs for their initial appearance on Tuesday. They pleaded not guilty during the hearing shortly before noon….

The charges mark a new low in a stunning fall for Casada, once one of the General Assembly’s most powerful Republicans. He resigned the short-lived speakership in 2019 amid a texting scandal over sexually explicit and racist conversations with his former chief of staff, Cothren.

A grand jury officially indicted the pair on Monday, the Department of Justice said, on charges that could carry up to 20 years in prison.

Both men are charged with:

  • theft from programs receiving federal funds;
  • bribery and kickbacks concerning programs receiving federal funds;
  • honest services wire fraud;
  • conspiracy to commit money laundering
  • using a fictitious name to carry out a fraud;
  • eight counts of money laundering.

During his time as speaker, Casada’s most notable achievement was pushing through Gov. Bill Lee’s school voucher plan.

More:GOP chairman regrets voting for voucher bill, says program won’t be implemented in 2020

The bill only passed after Casada made a deal with a House member to remove his county from the legislation. The move broke a deadlock, which would have seen the bill fail.