Bryan Slaton, a Republican state representative, has been nominated for expulsion by a House committee after it was discovered that he had inappropriate s*xual contact with a subordinate. Rep.
Andrew Murr, R-Junction, chairman of the House General Investigating Committee, claimed during a speech from the floor that Slaton’s actions was “induced by alcohol” that the representative gave the 19-year-old.
“Rep. Slaton then acted systematically to influence that subordinate and multiple witnesses to obstruct the investigation,” Murr said. Slaton’s removal, according to Murr, was required to preserve the “dignity and integrity” of the Legislature.
Following Murr’s address, clerks handed the Slaton report from the House Committee on General Inquiry. Members read it while remaining motionless for roughly ten minutes. At his desk, Slaton remained sat while intermittently checking his phone.
Following that, Speaker Dade Phelan resumed regular parliamentary activity. As the chamber’s presiding officer, the speaker, who ordinarily refrains from speaking during debates, declared in a statement that he will continue in that capacity.
JUST IN: A House committee has recommended the expulsion of Republican state Rep. Bryan Slaton after finding that he engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with a subordinate. (Via @TexasTribune)https://t.co/cJ9IqhFOiM
— CBS Austin (@cbsaustin) May 6, 2023
“I will withhold public comment until my colleagues have the opportunity to deliberate and then vote on the General Investigating Committee’s recommendations,” Phelan said. The full House will finally decide whether to expel Slaton because the state law permits it with a 2/3 vote of the chamber.
Murr submitted House Resolution 1542, the measure that would have him removed, on Saturday. There are some members who seem eager to proceed with expulsion. Rep. Jared Patterson, a Republican from Frisco, expressed his dismay over the report and his intention to oust Slaton via Twitter. Rep.
I could not finish reading the GI Committee Report re: Rep. Bryan Slaton. It’s disturbing & disgusting that a predator like Rep. Slaton is a member of the Texas House. I look forward to voting to expel Mr. Slaton and protecting the integrity of the Texas House of Representatives. https://t.co/ahg6UO5L7E
— Rep. Jared Patterson (@JaredLPatterson) May 6, 2023
Briscoe Cain, a Republican from Deer Park, mentioned in a text message that he originally demanded Slaton’s resignation about a month ago when the charges against him first came to light. “He had plenty of time to do the right thing,” Cain said. “Now this body must do the right thing and expel him.”
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Last month, a Capitol worker complained to the committee that Slaton, 45, had s*x with a staff member who was under 21 and offered her alcohol. According to the complaint, which The Texas Tribune examined, the event took place in March at Slaton’s residence in Austin.
Slaton has declined to respond to the accusations on numerous occasions. In an April statement, his attorney called the allegations “outrageous” and “false” without going into greater detail. As he was leaving the committee hearing on Thursday, Slaton was questioned by reporters but remained silent.
The committee’s chair, Murr, declined to comment after the 90-minute meeting, which was held in secret and included three Republicans and two Democrats. The committee may also be investigating allegations that Rep. Jolanda Jones, a Democrat from Houston, turned her office into an “abusive and hostile” place to work.
Rep. Dan Flynn, a longstanding Republican state legislator whom Slaton had challenged numerous times and thought to be too moderate, was defeated by Slaton in 2021, and Slaton then assumed office. Tim Dunn and Farris Wilks, two oil and gas millionaires from West Texas, contributed significantly to his political campaign.
They include far-right opponents of MPs who vote against their political interests as well as some of the most socially conservative lawmakers in the Legislature. The two are among the largest donors to these lawmakers.
Slaton, who is regarded as one of the most conservative members in the house and frequently irritates House leaders, campaigned unsuccessfully this year to change the House’s rules so that Democrats would not be allowed to chair committees. Extremely conservative grassroots Republicans who do not want Democrats to be in charge of important legislative debates have made this a top priority.
He demanded a complete ban on minors attending drag events last year, claiming it was important to shield kids from “perverted adults.” He has also suggested granting straight, married couples property tax breaks based on how many kids they have, but not same-s*x couples or those who are divorced.
Slaton also submitted a bill earlier this year that would permit a vote on Texas’ separation from the US during the state’s subsequent general election. Most experts concur that doing so would be against the law.
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