Texas House expels Bryan Slaton, first member since 1927

Texas Legislature Expels Representative Slaton for Inappropriate Sexual Conduct

On Tuesday, the Texas House unanimously voted to expel Representative Bryan Slaton, a Royse City Republican, on charges of sexual misconduct with a 19-year-old aide whom he had allegedly gotten drunk. Slaton tendered his resignation a day earlier when the internal investigation found him guilty. The ejection of Slaton, with a 147-0 vote, became the first expulsion of a Texas Legislature member from office since 1927, needed at least two-thirds of House support for expulsion.

Slaton’s nameplate was promptly removed from his desk and the vote count board at the front of the House floor. Slaton’s ouster followed a nearly month-long House General Investigative Committee review, following complaints about Slaton’s behavior from three Capitol employees and four representatives. The committee released a 16-page report detailing the allegations against Slaton, stating that he provided the young woman with large quantities of alcohol before a meeting on April 1st and recommended the expulsion of Slaton from the House.

Members of the House Committee told the House that Slaton had not challenged the allegations and had yet to express remorse. They also said Slaton probably committed multiple offenses, including supplying alcohol to a minor. The vote counted after Rep. Ann Johnson D-Houston’s emotional speech that Slaton showed a “systematic pattern of manipulation.” Aside from the three Republicans and two Democrats on the investigating committee, no other House members spoke before Speaker Dade Phelan called for a vote.

Although Slaton submitted his resignation to Governor Greg Abbott on Monday, he would only be stripped of his benefits by his ejection. Slaton, a prominent anti-LGBTQ proponent, allegedly invited the young woman to his Austin apartment, gave her a large cup of rum and coke, then filled it twice, rendering her unable to “actually consent to the report and could not indicate whether she liked it or disliked it.”

Before last year’s Texas House campaign, Slaton, a married father, was a youth pastor at several Southern Baptist Churches. In the house, he gained a reputation as a right-wing Republican who wasn’t afraid to challenge his party. In 2021, he called for a referendum on Texas’s secession from the United States, proposed a blanket ban on minors at drag shows, and gave per-child tax credits to married and heterosexual couples, excluding LGBTQ or divorced people.

On Saturday, protests against Slaton escalated following the release of the report. Two of the three county Republican parties Slaton serves called for his resignation, Texas Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, rescinded its support, while more than half of the 62 state Republican Executive Committee members also did the same. Conservative youth in Texas joined demands for Slaton’s resignation.

“Predatory behavior deserves such a consequence,” said House Speaker Phelan. “I hope the action we’ve taken here sends a message that sexual harassment and inappropriate activity in the workplace will not be condoned and is unacceptable.”

Governor Abbott will call a special election to fill the vacancy for House District 2, but that election cannot occur before the end of the legislative session on Memorial Day.

Content and Photo credit go to Texas Standard

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