Tennessee GOP operative at center of corruption scandal taken to court – by GOP attorney general: report

The Republican attorney general in Tennessee is taking the one-time chief of staff to a former GOP Speaker of the state General Assembly to court for failing to comply with subpoenas in an investigation into "shadowy" political action committee, Fox 17 Nashville reports.

"Attorney General Herbert Slatery asked a Nashville judge late last week to order Cade Cothren to explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt of court for not obeying the subpoenas in the investigation of the Faith Family Freedom Fund PAC. Cothren worked for Rep. Glen Casada before both resigned their top leadership roles in 2019 amid scandals," the network reported. "Ahead of the 2020 GOP primary election, the PAC attacked then Rep. Rick Tillis, who is the brother of North Carolina U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis. Rick Tillis lost to Republican Rep. Todd Warner, who was among those subject to FBI searches at the legislative building and other addresses in January 2021, alongside Casada, Cothren and ex-Republican Rep. Robin Smith."

Casada announced he would not seek re-election; Smith resigned and pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

"Neither Casada nor Cothren has been charged in the case, though both were referred to in Smith's charging documents as Individuals 1 and 2," the Tennessean reported. "Smith's plea deal in the case indicates federal prosecutors will recommend a lesser sentence in exchange for her cooperation in an ongoing investigation, which involved a shrouded grand jury in late March."

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