The Texas House unanimously voted to expel Bryan Slaton on Tuesday, one day after the Royse City Republican submitted his resignation after an internal investigation determined that he had sex with a 19-year-old aide after getting her drunk.
After a solemn, sometimes angry and tearful recounting of Slaton’s “graphic” and “offensive” behavior, the House voted 147-0 for expulsion, making Slaton the first member of the Texas Legislature to be removed from office since 1927.
Support of two-thirds of the House was needed for expulsion.
Slaton’s nameplate was immediately removed from his desk and from the vote tally board at the front of the House chamber.
Ahead of the vote, members of the committee told the House that Slaton had not disputed the allegations and still had not expressed remorse or regret. They also said Slaton likely committed multiple crimes, including providing alcohol to a minor.
“This Texas House is not going to hear from multiple complainants about serious and alarming facts and then turn the other cheek or simply slap a member on the wrist,” Rep. Andrew Murr, a Junction Republican who leads the investigating committee, told the House.
“My heart breaks,” Murr said, his voice growing thick. “I suspect that yours does too.”
In a heartfelt speech, Rep. Ann Johnson, D-Houston, said Slaton had exhibited a “systematic pattern of manipulation” and questioned whether the aide was able to consent at the time of the encounter after Slaton supplied her with several large mixed drinks. And she excoriated Slaton, calling him the “type of man who steals innocence” and who was “not worthy of a position of trust.”
Although Slaton resigned Monday, unless expelled he was entitled to his House salary and per diem, Murr said. Until voters elect a replacement, Slaton also would have continued to sit on assigned committees and count toward establishing a working quorum of the House.
See here and here for the previous updates. I applaud this action, and the committee and its investigator, former Judge Catherine Evans. I hope that Slaton is forever viewed as a filthy predator, that the Travis County DA pursues criminal charges against him – as of last night when I drafted this, I didn’t see anything in the news to that effect, but there’s plenty of time for something to happen – and I hope that the five former members of his staff who refused to cooperate with the investigation never find employment in the Capitol again. I feel a strong urge to wash my hands right now. Good fucking riddance.