A married GOP rep has resigned after an investigation determined he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 19-year-old woman on his staff.
The newly finished probe stems from multiple internal complaints filed last month against Texas‘s Bryan Slaton – one of which that claimed the 45-year-old Royse City rep had a sordid sexual encounter with the intern at his Austin apartment.
The complaints were filed by a 21-year-old legislative intern and two 19-year-old aides, one of whom claimed she was summoned to Slaton’s condo in early April after 10pm.
Her account, obtained by the Texas Tribune, claimed Slaton then plied her with alcohol to the point where she felt dizzy and had double vision – hindering her judgement before a then -unspecified sexual encounter.
An internal investigation that finished Saturday, however, found Slaton and the young staffer, identified only by the pseudonym Sophie A., had sex, and that the staffer took the emergency contraceptive Plan B after being ordered to keep quiet by the now resigned rep.
Married GOP rep Bryan Slaton – seen here with his wife of five years Sharmen and their young son – has resigned after an investigation determined he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 19-year-old woman on his staff, after plying her with alcoholic drinks in April
The five-person bipartisan committee that probed the complaints put pressure on Slaton to resign Saturday, through a scathing statement from Rep. Andrew Murr – and a 16-page report that laid bare his predatory behavior
A sprawling report prepared by Judge Evans and other experts retained by the state, it detailed at great length how Slaton multiple times invited young subordinates to his apartment near the Capitol before singling out Sophie A.
As her friends became concerned about obvious advances from Slaton over the course of several months, the 19-year-old legislative intern eventually confided to them about the incident in April, where she was fed rum and coke and slept over at Slaton’s condo.
The report resultantly found that the aide ‘could not effectively consent to intercourse and could not indicate whether it was welcome or unwelcome.’
The Lone Star State’s five-person bipartisan committee that probed the complaints revealed the fruits of their internal investigation Saturday, in the form of a 16-page report and a statement from Rep. Andrew Murr, the investigation committee’s chair.
Standing before members of the House, Murr laid bare Slaton’s predatory behavior, before recommending he be the first state rep expelled from the body since 1927.
‘The committee, upon receiving allegations made by the three separate complainants in early April, promptly retained the services of former Judge Catherine Evans to conduct an independent investigation into the matter,’ Murr said.
‘Judge Evans conducted this detailed investigation quickly and professionally, interviewing all complainants and cooperating witnesses and assembling documents and other evidence.’
After roughly three weeks of investigation, Murr said Evans submitted her report to the committee – and it was enough for the committee of three Republicans and two Democrats to unanimously vote that some form workplace misconduct had occurred.
The group then ordered a due process hearing between themselves and Slaton Thursday, during which the married Republican retained legal counsel.
Following the hearing, the committee prepared an in-depth report from the findings and facts presented by Judge Evans’ investigation, which a visibly emotional Murr said was ‘undisputed, and supported by independent and credible evidence.’
Shortly before the legislative meeting on Saturday, the committee unanimously adopted the committee’s report, which Murr said ‘contains findings of fact and conclusions of law – as well as an unprecedented recommendation for discipline.
‘To summarize the committee report,’ Murr said, ‘we find that Committee member Slaton has engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with a subordinate.’
Murr, evidently disturbed by the relaxations in the independent investigation, added: ‘That behavior was induced by alcohol that representative Slaton provided to that 19-year-old subordinate.’
The Republican further claimed that ‘Rep. Slaton then acted systematically to influence that subordinate and multiple witnesses and obstruct the investigation into the matter,’ before recommending Slaton’s immediate dismissal.
‘This committee unanimously recommends that the House disciplines representative Slaton by expelling him from a member of this body.
‘The expulsion of a fellow member is a level of punishment that we don’t take lightly,’ Murr added, ‘but to protect the integrity of and dignity of this legislative body, and to provide accountability to everyone who works and services this building.
‘The terms duty and trust, and integrity, and institutional acceptance to the people, have utmost importance in our recommendation for expulsion.
‘Out of respect for the process, and those involved, this statement will serve as our committee’s only public comment on the matter.’
Pressure had been mounting on the married Royse City Republican – whose wife already nearly divorced him a year ago, according to court documents – ahead of a planned vote to oust him on Tuesday
On Monday, the day before a planned vote to oust him from office, Slaton sent a resignation letter to Gov. Greg Abbott – in which he did not reference the allegations, instead saying he looked forward to spending more time with his young family
‘This is to inform the people of my legislative district, the governor of the state of Texas, and the House of Representatives, that I hereby resign my position as a member of the legislature effective immediately,’ the letter begins. ‘It has been an honor to represent my friends, neighbors and the great people and community of House District 2’
At that point, pressure mounted on Royse City Republican, who last month denied the then surfacing affair allegation, and has been wed to his wife Sharmen for more than five years.
The pair have a young son, and previously filed for divorce in April 2022. However, the couple agreed to cease the divorce back in November.
On Monday, the day before a planned vote to oust him from office, Slaton sent a resignation letter to Gov. Greg Abbott – and attempted to save face by not referencing the allegations against him.
Instead, he told the governor that he looked forward to spending more time with his family.
‘This is to inform the people of my legislative district, the governor of the state of Texas, and the House of Representatives, that I hereby resign my position as a member of the legislature effective immediately,’ the letter begins.
‘It has been an honor to represent my friends, neighbors and the great people and community of House District 2.
‘They voted overwhelmingly to send me to the Capitol a their representative in two elections, and I worked daily to meet their expectations.
‘My decision today is to ensure that their expectations will continue to be met by a new representative who will also work hard on their behalf,’ Slaton continued.
‘I am grateful to my many colleagues in the House who fought with me to improve life for all Texans, and to those who, even when we could not agree.
‘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.’
Slaton has not yet issued a public statement on his resignation, which came on Monday afternoon. He was not among those on the House floor earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, Slaton’s resignation does not necessarily save him from a historic ousting from office, according to Murr.
In a post to Facebook, the junior Republican said that he still plans to call up the resolution that he drafted Saturday.
‘Though Representative Slaton has submitted his resignation from office, under Texas law he is considered to be an officer of this state until a successor is elected and takes the oath of office to represent Texas House District 2.’ Murr wrote.
Slaton has yet to respond.