Casada backs aide with history of drug use in legislative office

House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin), right, meets with colleagues on the Senate floor on May 1, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

House Speaker Glen Casada’s top aide used cocaine in the legislative suite he once shared with the future leader of the chamber, according a report by WTVF-TV’s Phil Williams.

Cade Cothren managed Casada’s campaign form the open speakership position last year and was rewarded with the nearly $200,000-per-year position of chief of staff once the Franklin Republican was formally elected in January. Cothren previously earned $68,400 as a staffer.

UPDATE:

Within minutes of the report, Casada and Cothren issued a joint statement to the media.

“Nearly three years ago, Mr. Cothren approached me & confided in me that he was dealing with some personal issues and wanted to seek help after his struggles became apparent,” Casada said in the statement. “Knowing these issues were impacting his ability to fulfill his job duties, Mr. Cothren sought counseling and forgiveness, and has been doing an outstanding job ever since.”

Cothren accomplished since dealing with his personal issues.

“Like so many young, egotistical men aspiring to a career in politics that came before me, moving up the career ladder was met with unrelenting stress, peer pressure, and unrealistic expectations,” he said. “I know that this is not an excuse. Nonetheless, I unfortunately turned to maladaptive coping mechanisms. However, I thank God for these experiences because they’ve allowed me a unique opportunity to witness to the young men who will come after me that actions have consequences.”

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