Texas House committee recommends expelling Rep. Bryan Slaton
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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.
In a speech from the floor, Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, chairman of the House General Investigating Committee, said Slaton’s behavior was “induced by alcohol” that the representative provided the 19-year-old woman.
“Rep. Slaton then acted systematically to influence that subordinate and multiple witnesses to obstruct the investigation,” Murr said.
Murr said expelling Slaton was necessary to protect the “dignity and integrity” of the Legislature.
After Murr’s speech, clerks distributed the House Committee on General Investigating report on Slaton. Members sat silently for about 10 minutes and read it. Slaton remained seated at his desk, occasionally peering at his phone. Speaker Dade Phelan then resumed normal legislative business.
Members have not formally moved to expel Slaton, but some are eager to do so. Rep. Jared Patterson, R-Frisco, said on Twitter that he was disturbed by the report, called Slaton a predator, and was looking forward to expelling him. Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, noted in a text message that he called for Slaton to resign about a month ago, when news of the allegations against him were first surfacing.
“He had plenty of time to do the right thing,” Cain said. “Now this body must do the right thing and expel him.”
A Capitol employee filed a complaint with the committee last month alleging that Slaton, 45, had sex with one of his staff, a woman under 21, and gave her alcohol. The complaint, which was reviewed by The Texas Tribune, said the incident happened at Slaton’s Austin apartment in March.
Slaton has repeatedly declined to comment on the allegations. His lawyer in April issued a statement calling the claims “outrageous” and “false” without specifying further. Slaton remained silent when reporters asked him questions as he left the committee hearing Thursday.
The committee of three Republicans and two Democrats met privately for about 90 minutes Friday night, but its chair Murr declined to comment afterward.
The committee also is believed to be looking into claims that Rep. Jolanda Jones, a Houston Democrat, created an “abusive and hostile” work environment in her office.
This developing story has been updated.
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