NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says it's "past time" for a lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct to address the allegations publicly.
Lee issued the statement Thursday after declining for months to answer questions about what should be done in response to the claims lodged against Republican Rep. David Byrd.
Current House Speaker Glen Casada has been a longstanding defender of Byrd and has previously downplayed the women's accusations.
However, Casada announced on Tuesday that he was stepping down after a vote of no-confidence. The vote came after revelations that Casada exchanged sexually explicit text messages about women with his former chief of staff.
Since then, other lawmakers seeking to replace Casada have said they also believe Byrd's accusers to be credible.
Lee met with one of the accusers earlier this year.
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