House Speaker Glen Casada, R-Franklin, left, talks with Cade Cothren, right, his chief of staff, during a House session in Nashville, Tenn. Cothren has resigned amid allegations of racist and sexually explicit texts.
Photo: Mark Humphrey (FIle, AP Photo)

Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada’s chief of staff, a white man who actually and truly goes by the name Cade Cothren, has resigned amid allegations that he framed a black activist, as well as sent racist and sexually explicit texts, some of which were received by his boss. Cothren announced his resignation on Monday, hours after admitting to using illegal drugs, including snorting cocaine, in his legislative offices.

Yes, it’s astoundingly messy. So, let’s take it slowly.

The first allegation to surface involves Cothren’s participation in framing Justin Jones, a Vanderbilt University divinity student who has protested at the Tennessee State House over a bust honoring a Confederate general, according to ThinkProgress. Tennessee politics being Tennessee politics, the state legislature refused to take down the statue. In February, following a protest at the Capitol, Jones was arrested for assault after a cup was thrown into Speaker Casada’s elevator.