Texas Lawmaker Faces Expulsion Recommended by Panel Due to Misconduct

Texas Lawmaker Faces Expulsion Recommended by Panel Due to Misconduct

GOP Rep. Bryan Slaton should be removed from the Texas legislature for having inappropriate sexual behavior with a 19-year-old intern, a legislative committee concluded on Saturday. The full House could vote to expel Royse City resident Slaton as early as Tuesday.

The Associated Press left a phone message for Slaton, 45, on Saturday afternoon, but he has declined to speak. Last month, his attorney called the charges “outrageous” and “false.” The Texas Tribune was the first to report on the recommendation of the House General Investigative Committee.

The committee claimed in the written investigation report that Slaton served alcohol to the intern, 19, and another young employee at his house, had sex with the intern after she was drunk, and later showed the intern a threatening email but assured her that everything would be alright if the incident was kept quiet. According to the committee, Slaton allegedly asked a fellow lawmaker to conceal his actions.

The committee members stated in a report that “Slaton’s misconduct is grave and serious” and that he provided alcohol to a juvenile, broke employment laws, abused his position of power, and participated in the harassment.

The committee said it was “egregious and unwarranted” because Slaton had not expressed regret or remorse for his actions. “Considering the aforementioned factors, the Committee unanimously recommends that the only appropriate discipline, in this case, is expulsion.”

According to Slaton’s legislative biography, he is “a proud East Texan with values and principles that represent the great people of East Texas” and that was shaped by his involvement in church and family gatherings. In addition, it mentions his youth ministry experience and academic credentials from a Baptist seminary.

The Hill posted a tweet on their official Twitter account:

Misconduct probe on Slaton

Slaton has fought for the prohibition of drag shows for children and tweeted his support for legislation that would outlaw healthcare that promotes gender affirmation.

Slaton stated in an interview from last year that “children don’t need to be focused on sex and sexualization, and we need to let them just grow up to be children and let them do that as they’re getting closer to being an adult.”

A 21-year-old legislative intern and two 19-year-old legislative assistants made accusations in April, sparking the start of the misconduct probe. Republican Committee Chairman Andrew Murr informed the 150-member House on Saturday that the inquiry, which was carried out by a former state judge the committee hired, corroborated the concerns.

Murr stated that he anticipates a resolution mandating Slaton’s dismissal on Tuesday. A majority of House members would need to vote to expel Slaton.

Two of the ladies said in the accusations that they made an effort to stop the intern from spending time with Slaton and made suggestions about his inappropriate behavior. However, the intern, who one complainant referred to as “naive,” was not persuaded and thus consented to Slaton’s request to visit his residence on March 31. The legislator reportedly supplied rum and cokes to the other women that went with her.

According to the report, the intern was “really dizzy” and had “split vision” after one of the young women consumed enough alcohol to make her vomit. The intern reportedly remained in the house after the other women eventually left. According to the report, she informed her friends that Slaton drove her home the following morning, stopping at a pharmacy so she could get emergency contraception on the way.

The Associated Press discovered that at least 120 state lawmakers in 41 states have been accused publicly of sexual misconduct or harassment between 2017 and 2021. One of those cases included a legislator from Idaho who was ultimately found guilty in 2022 of raping a legislative intern.

Legislators who have been accused of sexual misconduct frequently seek office again and win. Removal attempts are less frequent.

However, a small number of lawmakers countrywide have been blocked or expelled from Statehouses this year for no reason other than participating in demonstrations or disobeying “decorum” standards. Rep. Zooey Zephyr of Montana, who is transgender, was denied access to the House floor by Republicans after she reprimanded colleagues who supported a ban on gender-affirming child care and resisted their attempts to silence her.

In April, two Democratic state legislators from Tennessee were expelled by Republicans for their participation in a demonstration demanding greater gun regulation in the wake of a tragic school shooting in Nashville.

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