Presumed House Speaker Says Embattled Lawmaker David Byrd Should Not Be Expelled | Nashville Public Radio

Presumed House Speaker Says Embattled Lawmaker David Byrd Should Not Be Expelled

Jul 25, 2019

Rep. Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, said he's not going to try push David Byrd out of the state House of Representatives.

Sexton, who won on Wednesday the Republican nomination for the House Speakership, told reporters it’s up to Byrd to decide if he wants to leave his post.

“I don’t think he should be expelled," Sexton said. "As we move forward, we’ll see what happens, and the good news is we have four weeks, and so we can look at what may or may not be filed at this point.”

Rep. David Byrd, R-Waynesboro, has been accused of sexual assault by three women when he was their high school basketball coach in the 1980s.

He has declined to comment on the allegations.

Outgoing House Speaker Glen Casada has been a staunch defender of Byrd, telling reporters earlier this year that “allegations are just that." Meanwhile, Gov. Bill Lee has become increasingly critical of Byrd over the course of the governor's first year. 

Already, one lawmaker — Knoxville Democrat Gloria Johnson — has filed a resolution to expel Byrd. But it’s unclear if the House will take it up during Aug. 23 special session.