Report: Feds asked lawmaker if he knew Casada, Cothren were owners of Phoenix Solutions

House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) checks his phone as he awaits the joint convention to hear Gov. Bill Lee’s first State of the State address in Nashville on March 4, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

State Rep. Kent Calfee (R-Kingston) tells the Tennessee Lookout’s Sam Stockard federal agents asked him whether he was aware of the roles of former House Speaker Glen Casada and his onetime chief of staff, Cade Cothren, in a mysterious campaign vendor.

“They asked me if I knew Cade Cothren and Glen Casada were owners of Phoenix Solutions,” Calfee told the publication.

The FBI raided the homes and offices of Casada, Cothren, and Reps. Robin Smith (R-Hixson) and Todd Warner (R-Chapel Hill) on the eve of the legislative session in January.

Calfee said FBI agents searched the computer of his assistant, Nadine Korby, who has been placed on administrative leave along with Casada aide Carol Simpson and interim chief of staff, Holt Whitt.

Calfee, a critic of the way school voucher legislation was passed in 2019, told the Lookout he believes the FBI is conducting three investigations, but declined to give specifics.

As first reported by The Tennessee Journal, federal agents had conducted interviews throughout the legislative session of lawmakers who engaged Casada and Smith for political consulting work.

As recently as the last day of the session, state Rep. Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) told colleagues he had spoken to federal agents in his office. Zachary spent $4,408 with vendor Phoenix Solutions (though he misspelled it as “Phenoix Solutions” on his disclosures), the outfit believed to be at the center of the FBI probe.

Several colleagues have said Smith was a vocal advocate for steering more political work to Phoenix Solutions. She and Casada have both declined to say whether they have an ownership stake in the business.

“They did not tell me I couldn’t disclose the information that we discussed,” Zachary explained to Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter Andy Sher earlier this month, adding “even with my colleagues, I’ve still tried to be very careful about disclosing what we discussed.”

“Everything centered around the investigation with my colleagues, specifically Rep. Casada, Rep. Smith… I did a survey with Glen and it went through the Phoenix Solutions,” Zachary told the paper.

16 Responses to Report: Feds asked lawmaker if he knew Casada, Cothren were owners of Phoenix Solutions

  • Avatar
    Cryan says:

    I can hear the cell doors slamming.

    • Avatar
      LeeAnn C. says:

      Perhaps. Maybe the individuals are due a trial first.

      • Avatar
        Cryan says:

        I know Cameron Sexton would rather beat Bill Lee in the primary, but come on.

        Articles of Impeachment against Bill “Bubba Gump” Lee for the following high crimes:

        I. Public corruption and bribing an elected official.
        II. Abuse of Office as Commander in Chief of the Tennessee National Guard
        III. Belittling the rank of General in the Tennessee National Guard for inducements, bribes, and political kickbacks.
        IV. Violating the Oath of Office by knowingly enacting and enforcing unconstitutional measures to sow discord among the citizenry.
        V. Fruad, waste, and abuse in using taxpayer dollars to file frivolous lawsuits defending unconstitutional acts.

        I could go on..

        Notice Calfee said there are at least THREE separate investigations (that all started during the Trump administration).

        Don’t drop the soap.

    • Avatar
      Taxpayer #314 says:

      It seems that there can only be one reason to set up such a strange and secrete system like this and nothing about it is legal. More dirty tricks from Republicans and Conservatives. They find new ways to cheat every day. Witness how many Federal employees (many with legal backgrounds) Trump felt compelled to Pardon. The corruption slowly trickles down from the top to our state legislature. It is becoming a part of the classic definition of the Republican Trickle Down effect.

  • Avatar
    Beatrice Shaw says:

    Long overdue

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    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    It’s so cute the way the handful of Tennessee leftists get soooooo excited every time Erik posts an article about some investigation taking place somewhere involving Republican officeholders not realizing, I guess, that in the off chance that these investigations result in anything the wise people of Tennessee will surely elect another Republican to take their place. Obama’s administration made Tennessee overwhelmingly Republican. The demented Big Guy’s administration will keep it that way for as far as the eye can see.

    • Avatar
      Beatrice Shaw says:

      Sooo glad to see you throwing Casada under the bus now too

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        I am mystified as to how you could interpret what I said as throwing my dear friend Glen Casada (ACU-86%) “under the bus.” No indeed! I think our laws have it quite right, all are innocent until proven guilty. Glen has been a friend for about twenty years but as a conservative I believe if he or I break any laws, if found guilty of lawbreaking after being afforded legal proceedings that conform to due process we have to pay the penalty for having done so.

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          Taxpayer #314 says:

          Stuart winds up believing, or at least accepting, that the FBI can arrest all the conservatives they can find, there are many more where they came from and his party will just elect more of the same. No hint of making any changes to the selection to improve the integrity of the candidates, just churn them out to keep the party in power. Reputation doesn’t matter, just electability. That is why the conservatives and republicans have nothing to offer to the vast majority of the voters.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      But it turns out to be the Same ones…..not just anytime he posts about “some investigation taking place somewhere involving Republican officeholders”. And they seem to be the ones you’re closest to and the big supporter of. Maybe they’re just victims of an attempt to get to you (putting my MAGA conspiracy/Q hat on).

      • Avatar
        Cryan says:

        (1) Covid-19 was made in a lab in China.

        (2) Covid-19 doesn’t exist and is something Fauci made up to enrich himself.

        Both of those are true to the majority of Republicans no matter how God damn stupid it is.

        And before I’m chastised by the Religious Right on this blog let me remind you:

        ““If you don’t support me, you’re going to be so goddamn poor.” – Donald Trump

        “They’ll (ISIS) be hit so goddamn hard.” – Donald Trump

        “goddamn windmills” – Donald Trump

        Goddamn

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      Calfee (RepubliKKKan) brought up the three separate federal investigations involving Casada. Are you saying Calfee is leftist?

      You are so goddamn stupid.

      And before I’m chastised by the Religious Right on this blog let me remind you:

      ““If you don’t support me, you’re going to be so goddamn poor.” – Donald Trump

      “They’ll (ISIS) be hit so goddamn hard.” – Donald Trump

      “goddamn windmills” – Donald Trump

      Goddamn

  • Avatar
    Phillip Lassiter says:

    Feds DO NOT do what they are doing in TN and NOT plan to indict someone. They already knew a crime was committed when they made the initial raids. It’s gonna get ugly for a few people

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Bill Lee was one of them.

      “My vote is not for sale.” – J. Mark Windle, American Patriot

  • Avatar
    Cryan says:

    ___________________________________
    Isn’t that ∆ what Stuart does to change the subject?

    The Arizona recount has been extended, and Georgia has started a recount this very day on behalf of Donald John Drumpf.

    Good luck in the midterms, GQP boys. I’m sure relitigating the 2020 election will bring all those suburban voters back into your party

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    The Big Lie turns into The Big Circus as the republicans turn rabid and crazy. These folks are dangerous to our democracy and they are the ones that should be paying for any new voting machines in the county, not the taxpayers. The taxpayers have already paid for several recounts and that is OK, but the deadline for recounts has passed and the vote, counted three times is over; this circus in AZ is now absurd. Does Lee want a recount now?

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