NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — On Tuesday, Rep. Glen Casada and his former chief of staff Cade Cothran were arrested on federal fraud charges. This follows years of controversy surrounding the former Tennessee House Speaker, much of which was broken by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.
Below is a timeline of major events leading up to Tuesday's arrest. Many of the events of Casada's time as House Speaker are also summarized in the 2019 video at the top of this story.
January 2003 – Glen Casada is elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives, representing House District 63 (Williamson County), for the first of 11 terms.
January 8, 2019 – Casada is elected House Speaker for what would be one of the shortest stints as House Speaker in Tennessee history.
April 23, 2019 – Casada passes Gov. Bill Lee’s school voucher plan in House by one vote. NewsChannel 5 Investigates later reveals allegations that Casada had offered Rep. John Mark Windle a promotion to general in the National Guard in exchange for his vote.
May 2019 – Racist and sexist text messages between Casada and aide Cade Cothren, first uncovered by NewsChannel 5 Investigates, brings calls for his resignation and a vote of no confidence by House GOP Caucus.
May 21, 2019 - Casada eventually agrees to resign as House Speaker.
August 2, 2019 – Casada's resignation as House Speaker becomes official.
November 2020 – Despite controversies, Casada is easily reelected to his House seat.
January 8, 2021 – Early on a Monday morning, FBI executes search warrants at Casada’s home, as well as his legislative office. The former Speaker was still in his bathrobe when agents arrived. The FBI also searched the homes and offices of state Reps. Robin Smith and Todd Warner, as well as Cothren’s home.
November 10, 2021 – Casada announces he will retire from legislature at end of 2022.
March 8, 2022 – Robin Smith pleads guilty to one count of honest services wire fraud, agrees to cooperate with on-going criminal investigation of Casada and others.
May 2022 – Casada loses his bid for Williamson County Clerk.
August 23, 2022 - Casada and Cochran are arrested on federal fraud charges. You can read the indictment in full here.