After the House investigation found last week that Rep. Bryan Slaton, 45, gave the intern and another young staff member alcohol at his home, engaged in sexual activity with her while she was drunk, and later showed her a threatening email, there were growing calls for him to resign from the state Republican party and conservative groups.
According to the report from the House General Investigating Committee, Slaton also asked a fellow politician to conceal his actions.
Rep. Andrew Murr, the chair of the investigation panel, declared he still intended to call for a vote to remove Slaton because he continues to serve as a state officer until a replacement is chosen and sworn in.
Slaton’s resignation letter made no mention of the accusations, which his lawyer had earlier branded “outrageous” and “false.”
Slaton thanked his colleagues and said it had been an honour to represent his East Texas district in the Legislature. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my young family, and I’ll keep looking for ways to help my community and all the residents of our wonderful state, he wrote.
Leaders of the state Republican Party praised his departure and argued that House members ought to be held accountable for improper behaviour.
Party authorities issued a statement saying, “The misconduct detailed in the General Investigative Committee Report should never be tolerated and is proper grounds for expulsion.” “Representative Slaton has rightfully resigned. These actions have betrayed the trust that the people of his district placed in him as an elected official.”
According to Slaton’s legislative biography, his family and church meetings helped shape his views and principles. It also mentions his employment as a youth preacher and his degrees from a Baptist seminary.
A 21-year-old legislative intern and two 19-year-old legislative assistants made accusations in April, sparking the start of the misconduct probe.
Two of the ladies claimed they made attempts to stop the intern from spending time with Slaton and implied that his actions were improper. But when Slaton asked the intern to visit his residence, the latter, whom one complainant characterized as “naive,” accepted. The legislator reportedly provided wine to the other women who went with her.
The investigative report revealed that one of the young women drank to the point of vomiting, while the other got so inebriated they experienced “split vision” and other symptoms.
According to the story, two women eventually departed but the intern remained. She claimed to her friends that the following morning, Slaton drove her home, making a stop at a pharmacy so she could buy emergency contraception.
The Associated Press discovered that at least 120 state lawmakers in 41 states were accused publicly of sexual misconduct or harassment between 2017 and 2021. They frequently win re-election and run for office again; removal attempts are less frequent.