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Scotty Campbell, Tennessee GOP lawmaker, resigns after ethics panel finding

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Republican lawmaker in Tennessee resigned Thursday due to an ethics violation involving the Legislature’s workplace discrimination and harassment policy.

Rep. Scotty Campbell, vice chair of the House Republican Caucus, was among the GOP legislators who voted two weeks ago to expel two Black Democratic lawmakers for protesting in support of gun control on the House floor.

The Mountain City lawmaker issued his resignation effective immediately, a letter to fellow legislators states.

WTVF-TV first reported on the finding by the Ethics Subcommittee, which issued its decision on March 29 in a document addressed to Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton. The document says the panel found Campbell violated the Legislature’s workplace discrimination and harassment policy.

When asked about the ethics panel decision by WTVF-TV on Thursday, Campbell said, “I had consensual, adult conversations with two adults off property.”

“I think conversations are consensual once that is verbally agreed to. If I choose to talk to any intern in the future, it will be recorded,” he said.

Campbell resigned about six hours after the TV station questioned him. He had remained a lawmaker after the late-March ethics finding, and voted earlier this month to expel two lawmakers. They have since been reinstated. He also voted to expel Democratic Rep. Gloria Johnson, who is white. Johnson was spared expulsion by one vote.

Connie Ridley, the General Assembly’s director of legislative administration, produced the Ethics Subcommittee’s findings document in response to a records request.

The Ethics Subcommittee finding says, “Discrimination and harassment in any form will not be tolerated.” It says no further information on the ethics complaint will be released.

Campbell’s departure comes in the waning moments of a months-long legislative session. GOP legislative leaders are trying to finish their work by the end of the week.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.

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