House Speaker Glen Casada has named a veteran of the state legislature to be his new chief of staff, replacing a top aide who resigned Monday.
Scott Gilmer held the same position under Casada's predecessor as House speaker, Nashville Republican Beth Harwell, and he stayed on after her retirement in January to join Casada's staff.
Gilmer replaces Cade Cothren, who was forced out of his position after texts sent between 2014 and 2016 were leaked to the media. They depicted Cothren as boasting about his sex life and drug use, soliciting sex from an intern and a lobbyist, making crude remarks about women and disparaging African Americans. Cothren says he's changed since sending those texts.
Cothren also faces a potential investigation into whether he doctored evidence used against a political activist.
Although he has been working in Casada's office, Gilmer has not been connected to the messaging scandal. But he play a part in a controversy a decade ago, when he was working as a campaign adviser to the House Republican Caucus, a group that Casada chaired.
During the 2008 elections, Gilmer set up a fake website to spread false information about a Democratic lawmaker — a violation of state law. Gilmer pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and paid a $50 fine.