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Office feud: State Rep. Gloria Johnson says she's stuck with tiny office, speaker says they were trying to accommodate her

A Knoxville Democrat says a political spat with the House speaker forced her to take a “closet size” office, so she moved her desk to a hallway.
Credit: Gloria Johnson via Twitter

Knoxville Rep. Gloria Johnson says she's moved her work desk to the hallway of a state legislative building in Nashville amid a disagreement about her current office space.

She recently was assigned what she said was a windowless conference room as her office space in the Cordell Hull Building. It's so small, she said, that she's going to put her assistant in that space, work in the hall and hope for another assignment.

“Today I asked the office moving folks at the legislature to move my stuff into the closet they gave me for an office,” the Knoxville Democrat penned on Twitter Thursday night, posting photos for proof of her new desk set-up along a hall in the office building for state lawmakers in Nashville.

She blamed her banishment to a “converted phone room” on a recent political vote.  In a Facebook live video earlier this week Rep. Johnson explained what she said were the consequences of being the lone “no” vote to re-elect
Republican Cameron Sexton of Crossville to the role of House speaker.

“The speaker has chosen to give me a converted phone room as my office,” said Johnson in a conversation with her social media followers.

Johnson said she made the decision to help her 65-year-old assistant battling a rare brain cancer -- saying the room was not well vented.

"I am not going to put her in an unvented closet that is about 4 1/2 feet wide. Not going to do it," she said.

In response to questions about her ongoing accusations, the Office of the Speaker did not answer direct questions but did offer 10News the following statement.

“Rep. Johnson shared office space within the House research division for the last two years of the 111th General Assembly. She expressed her displeasure about her office assignment being within research. To alleviate her concerns, Rep. Johnson now has her own office located outside of the research division for the 112th General Assembly. Speaker Sexton is responsible for setting policies and procedures for operation within his chamber including staff and office assignments.”

—The office of Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton


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