Controversial texts emerge from TN House Speaker as chief of staff resigns

Cade Cothren, former Chief of Staff to Speaker of the House Glen Casada / Source: WTVF

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Cade Cothren, chief of staff to Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, has resigned.

The resignation comes after the revelation of text messages showing racist comments, the use of illegal drugs and vulgar comments towards women, according to NewsChannel 5 in Nashville.

"Republicans in the House and Senate accomplished a plethora of great things this year. We have a hell of a leadership team in both chambers, and I couldn’t be more proud to work with them in 2019," Cothren said Monday night in a text to NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

"At this point, the best thing for me to do is step down so House and Senate Republicans can continue focusing on those things that make Tennessee the best state in the entire nation."

NewsChannel5 is also reporting House Speaker Glen Casada is now under fire for lewd texts messages that have emerged between himself and a former staff member.

In an interview Tuesday morning with a radio station, WWTN, Casada defended his language by saying it was "locker-room talk."

"I'm embarrassed about that. In the last couple of years, I have come to realize ... I can't do this and it is not appropriate behavior," Casada said. "So, yes, I participated in locker-room talk with two adult men that was not intended to go to anyone else, and I was wrong. In the last several years, that kind of talk has not entered and left my mouth."

NewsChannel5 reported Cothren texted a picture of a female friend pole dancing to Casada in 2016 when Cothren was press secretary for the Tennessee House Republican Caucus.

The House Speaker responded, "Nice pics."

Cothren: "Hands to yourself :)"

The Speaker: "Can I just touch?"

Cothren: "Lol okay maybe just once."

The Speaker: "Lol."

Casada told WWTN he "got caught up in the moment at that time and participated in that text messaging with two adult men, and that is not me today."

Tuesday, the Tennessee Black Caucus announced it is asking the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to investigate Casada's actions.

Follow more of NewsChannel 5's coverage here and here.