Accused Tennessee lawmaker resigns as education chairman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct has stepped down as chairman of an education subcommittee after facing months of protests from victim advocates calling for his resignation.

House Speaker Glen Casada confirmed on Thursday that Republican Rep. David Byrd will no longer oversee the House Education Administration Subcommittee.

Casada says he asked Byrd to give up the chairmanship following conversations with House members.

The Waynesboro lawmaker has been accused of inappropriately touching two women nearly three decades ago when he was their high school basketball coach. A third woman says Byrd tried to touch her.

Casada initially appointed Byrd to the legislative committee earlier this year and has heavily defended Byrd by comparing the lawmaker’s scrutiny to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and President Donald Trump, other top leaders he says were unfairly accused.

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