The chief of staff for Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R) has admitted using cocaine and other drugs in legislative offices.
Cade Cothren made the admission after a WTVF investigation uncovered text messages which indicated drugs had been used.
“Regarding the texts in question, I readily admit that I sent some of them,” Cothren said in a statement made jointly with Casada. “I do so because they are part of a personal testimony that I am privileged to share, which is not lost on me.”
“Nonetheless, I unfortunately turned to maladaptive coping mechanisms," the chief of staff continued. "However, I thank God for these experiences because they have allowed me a unique opportunity to witness to the young men who will come after me that actions have consequences.”
According to WFTV, the text messages also included "racist sentiments." Cothren was serving as the Tennessee House Republican Caucus press secretary at the time the text messages were sent.
In the Monday statement Speaker Casada said Cothren confided in him three years ago "that he was dealing with some personal issues and wanted to seek help after his struggles became apparent."
"Politics has become a game of ‘gotcha’ with no thought of forgiveness and starting anew,” the Speaker added. “I choose to believe that we all deserve a shot at redemption. I gave Mr. Cothren this chance to prove himself, and that’s exactly what he has done.”
WFTV noted that Casada is on record calling for drug testing for welfare recipients.