The Tri-Star State: Why Is House Speaker Glen Casada Standing By David Byrd? | Nashville Public Radio

The Tri-Star State: Why Is House Speaker Glen Casada Standing By David Byrd?

CNN isn’t usually interested in the minutiae of state politics. But comments from Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada about Rep. David Byrd have brought the network and other national outlets to the state Capitol.

That's after Casada was caught on video defending his choice of Byrd as an education subcommittee chair despite multiple accusations of sexual misconduct with girls he coached in the 1980s.

So, will this new pressure push Byrd out of office?

The following are excerpts from recent interviews:

Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada on not asking Rep. David Byrd, R-Waynesboro, to resign: 

“Allegations are just that. Our most sacred right is the right that we are innocent until proven guilty. We must abide by that.”

Randy McNally, Tennessee senate speaker, on how he'd handle allegations of sexual misconduct in his chamber:

"As Speaker of the Senate, should that happen to one of our members, I would probably handle it a little bit different. But I certainly respect Speaker Casada. ... If it were to happen in the Senate and similar allegations were made, I’ll think I’ll probably request the Ethics Committee to review it.”

Our ongoing conversations about Tennessee politics are available in The Tri-Star State podcast. You can listen by visiting wpln.org/tristar or subscribe using your favorite podcasting app.