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The Tennessee House speaker's chief of staff on Monday admitted using cocaine in a legislative office building when he held a previous job, allegedly used a racial slur to describe NFL star Jameis Winston, and exchanged sexually explicit text messages about women with his boss.
Cade Cothren, chief of staff to House Speaker Glen Casada, declined to respond to allegations that he may have tampered with evidence in a criminal case, an allegation that Casada, when pressed, called 'absolutely false.'
Tennessean - Monday - Cothren - Messages - 'inappropriate
The Tennessean on Monday also reported Cothren sent sexually explicit messages to and made 'inappropriate' advances toward former interns, lobbyists and campaign staffers between 2014 and 2016.
The newspaper said the text messages between the two men did not involve the former interns. It did not say if they involved the others.
Cothren - Associated - Press - Email - Accusations
Cothren told The Associated Press in an email the accusations are 'years old.'
He also referred the AP back to a statement he had sent earlier Monday in response to other allegations.
Statement - Things - Proud
In that statement, he said he had done things he was 'not proud of.'
The Tennessean quoted him as saying that he had sent 'derogatory' texts to women in the past.
Casada - Involvement - Messages - Comments - Relationship
It quoted Casada as saying that his own involvement in the messages amounted to comments on 'a relationship between two consenting adults.
Regarding the drug use, Cothren said in a statement that he faced pressure and high expectations during his career, where he 'unfortunately turned to maladaptive coping mechanisms.'
Men - Career - Politics - Career - Ladder
'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. I know that this is not an excuse,' Cothren said.
While the statement doesn't mention any specific drug, Cothren confirmed to news outlets that he used cocaine at work several years ago, but said...
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