Rep. Bryan Slaton resigned from the Texas House on Monday after an investigation determined that he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 19-year-old woman on his staff, providing her with enough alcohol before their encounter that she felt dizzy and had double vision.
Pressure had mounted on the Royse City Republican to resign since Saturday, when the House General Investigative Committee released a 16-page report finding Slaton had engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with his aide. The committee of three Republicans and two Democrats recommended that Slaton be the first state representative expelled from the body since 1927.
Slaton, 45 and married, was among the most socially conservative lawmakers in the chamber and had been one of this session’s loudest voices for cracking down on drag shows and decrying drag artists as “groomers” who want to sexualize kids.
The committee report said Slaton had invited the 19-year-old woman to his Austin apartment late March 31 and gave her a large cup of rum and coke, then refilled it twice — rendering her unable to “effectively consent to intercourse and could not indicate whether it was welcome or unwelcome.”
In other questionable actions, Slaton also provided alcohol to the aide and another woman under the age of 21 on several occasions, the report said.
The report also alleged that after Slaton and the woman had unprotected sex in the early hours of April 1, Slaton drove her home, and she later went to a drugstore to purchase Plan B medication to prevent a pregnancy. Slaton, a staunch abortion opponent, later tried to intimidate the woman and her friends into not speaking about the incident, the report said.
See here for the previous update. I skipped a bunch of paragraphs about Slaton’s buddies in the Republican Party finally turning on him, because I absolutely do not have to hand it to them. I’ll be honest, I wanted to see the House have the expulsion vote, in part because he didn’t deserve to leave on his own terms, and in part out of morbid curiosity to see if anyone would still side with him, even as the worst people in the state other than himself had already told him to get lost.
I urge you to read the committee’s report about Slaton’s extremely sleazy and gross actions in this matter if you haven’t already. That highlighted bit about the young woman in question buying a dose of Plan B was the item that made me the angriest when I read it. Because, of course, while Plan B is still legal in Texas – indeed, it’s Greg Abbott’s advised treatment for rape victims, so that he and his fellow forced birthers don’t need to pass a rape exception to our extreme anti-abortion law – there were bills filed in this session that would greatly limit access to Plan B, or even possibly make its purchase and use a felony on par with murder. I’ll give you three guesses which legislator filed that latter bill. By my count, he filed or sponsored at least four even more anti-abortion bills this session, because that’s the kind of moral exemplar Bryan Slaton is. I’m not the praying type, but if I were I’d definitely be beseeching a higher authority to spare this girl the indignity of being impregnated by this horrible man.
Anyway. He’s gone, and as I said, good riddance. One asshole less in the Lege, which is always a fine thing. He likely won’t be replaced until November – if for some godawful reason we have a special session Abbott can call for an expedited election to fill his seat. If we’re very lucky, whoever does replace him will be slightly less of an asshole. I’m not terribly optimistic.
UPDATE: From the DMN:
In a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott and chief House clerk Stephen Brown, Slaton said his resignation was effective immediately. Slaton did not mention the House General Investigating Committee’s Saturday report recommending his expulsion.
“I look forward to spending more time with my young family, and will continue to find ways to serve my community and all citizens across our great state,” he wrote.
Slaton, R-Royse City, said “it has been an honor” to represent District 2, where he won elections in 2020 and last year.
On Monday, Murr said he still planned on Tuesday to ask the vote to expel Slaton.
“Under Texas law he is considered to be an officer of this state until a successor is elected and he takes the oath of office,” Murr said in a social media post.
Under the state Constitution, lawmakers may be expelled for “disorderly conduct.” Each chamber is left to define what constitutes such conduct.
The General Investigating Committee began receiving complaints about Slaton’s behavior April 5, the report notes.
Former Harris County District Judge Catherine Evans, now a lawyer in Houston, was retained to investigate the allegations against Slaton. Evans provided the panel with the report early last week.
Slaton, who appeared before the committee for 90 minutes on Thursday, has expressed no regret and shown no remorse for his conduct, a “fact” the report called “egregious.” After meeting with the committee, he did not answer reporters’ questions about his presence before the panel.
Glad to hear the expulsion vote will still be held, even if it’s mostly pro forma at this point. And again, I cannot emphasize enough what an asshole Bryan Slaton is.