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Tennessee House Speaker among several state Republicans to receive subpoena

The subpoena comes after former court records say State Rep. Robin Smith engaged in a fraudulent scheme with others to contract with Phoenix Solutions, LLC.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton was subpoenaed Tuesday to appear before a federal grand jury.

“We have been fully cooperating with the federal authorities since I became Speaker in 2019. It is not unexpected that I and other members would be called to appear before a grand jury to provide factual statements as part of this ongoing investigation,” said Speaker Sexton said in a statement to News4, a sister station with WBIR in Nashville.

No further information has been provided at this time as to who the other House Republican members are that received subpoenas and how many there are.

The subpoena comes after, according to criminal information filed in the United States District Court, former State Rep. Robin Smith engaged in a fraudulent scheme with others to contract with Phoenix Solutions, LLC to provide mail and consulting services for members of the Tennessee General Assembly.

“I have resigned as Representative of the Tennessee House. I did so out of respect for the honor of Tennesseans, my commitment to public service over the last several decades, and of course, my Christian faith. I believe in forgiveness, and I hope to earn yours over time,” said Smith in a statement.

The information also alleged that in September and December 2020, Smith received two checks from Phoenix Solutions totaling more than $24,000, which she deposited into her consulting firm’s bank account.

According to the information, a court document, Smith helped others, including two unnamed individuals believed to be former Speaker of the House Glen Casada and his former chief of staff Cade Cothren, devised and intended to devise a scheme to defraud the citizens of the Middle District of Tennessee.

According to the information, 'unnamed individual 1' was a member of the Tennessee House, first elected in 2003 and served as Speaker of the Tennessee House from around January 2019 until around August 2019 when he resigned as Speaker after a scandal became public. The 'unnamed individual 2' was a businessman and former Chief of Staff to 'individual 1' when he was Tennessee House Speaker.

This story was originally reported by WSMV.

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