An internal complaint filed against state Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royse City, alleges that he was engaging in a potentially “inappropriate relationship” with an intern. The complaint came after an incident in which Slaton and the staffer allegedly met up at his Austin apartment last weekend.
The complaint, obtained by The Texas Tribune, was reported to the House General Investigating Committee by a legislative staffer. The account in the complaint was also corroborated by another source who works in the Capitol who had direct knowledge of the incident.
Slaton allegedly called the intern after 10 p.m. March 31 inviting her to his Austin condo, the complaint said.
A source with direct knowledge of the incident told the Tribune that Slaton drank alcohol with the intern, who was under 21.
After the incident, Slaton allegedly showed the intern fake emails that purported to have information about the incident in what appeared to be something of a loyalty test, according to the complaint and a person with direct knowledge. After presenting her the email, Slaton allegedly told her to not speak with anyone about the incident.
Slaton, who was in the Capitol on Monday, declined to answer questions and referred to a statement put out earlier in the day by a criminal defense attorney he has retained.
A representative for the intern said she has been advised by the House committee not to comment.
House Speaker Dade Phelan said in a statement that his office would be looking into the matter.
“The Texas House does not tolerate misconduct or other inappropriate behaviors and takes all allegations related to these issues seriously. I expect this matter to be addressed in a swift and thorough manner under the rules governing our chamber for the 88th Legislature and all applicable standards of conduct,” he said.
The Capitol has been abuzz about Slaton’s whereabouts after he missed one of the most important days of the session Thursday, when the House debated the budget. It was even more eyebrow-raising because the conservative rabble-rouser had proposed 27 amendments to the budget. Slaton was the only absence when the roll call was called Thursday morning.
As speculation grew about Slaton during the budget debate Thursday, the chair of the General Investigating Committee, Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, issued a statement saying the panel does not comment “on any investigations it undertakes, including statements confirming or denying the existence of any ongoing investigation.”
Slaton has been married to his current wife since 2017, and filed for divorce in April 2022, according to court filings. They agreed to cease the divorce in November. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. According to his website, he’s also worked as a youth pastor at numerous Southern Baptist churches in Texas.
There was definitely some buzz on Twitter about this late last week. There was an earlier version of the story that didn’t have any details, but now we do. I’m not sure how much actual trouble Slaton is in here – serving booze to a minor is a crime, though probably a misdemeanor. The rest of it as reported is shady and scuzzy but nothing that I see as illegal. My guess is that there’s more to this than what’s been revealed so far, just based on the initial buzz. But I could be wrong, it may have just been a combination of him missing the budget debate and nothing better for anyone else to do that fueled it. If there is more, I’m sure we’ll eventually hear it.
As the story notes, Slaton is one of the bigger assholes in the Lege, which in this crowd is saying something. He’s a huge homophobe and attacker of drag shows, spewing tons of crap about the need to “protest” kids from what he calls “perverted adults”. Better look in the mirror, buddy. I am fully prepared to get drunk on schadenfreude, if it comes to that. The Chron has more.