For the first time, the Tennessee Senate on Wednesday voted to expel a senator, stripping Sen. Katrina Robinson of her elected position following her federal conviction on federal wire fraud charges.
Robinson, D-Memphis, had decried the Senate’s move as racist and misogynistic and called the expulsion a “procedural lynching” Wednesday. The senator grew emotional on the Senate floor before her colleagues voted to expel her, calling the decision a foregone conclusion and the Senate’s debate “a show.”
“I was raised in a very no-nonsense manner. I’ve gone two years and never let the public see me cry,” Robinson said. “I continued to push through this ordeal to get here every week for session, for committee, to get back to my community even when I couldn’t raise money because people thought I was a thief.
“I went in my own pocket to give to kids who were looking forward to events that normally I would have support for. I stood out front this whole time, and I haven’t shied away from any fight, and I can’t do it here. Some of you think I would maintain my dignity through resignation, but for me the only way to maintain my dignity is to stand here and stand up for myself, and anyone else who would go through this.”
The Senate voted 27-5 to expel her from the Senate.
“While the expulsion of a Senator for the first time in history was not something any of us wished to see, it was a necessary action,” Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, said in a statement following the vote. “The integrity of the Senate is of paramount importance. Senator Robinson was given every consideration and due process.”
McNally said the Senate could have acted right away following her conviction but gave her time to pursue her legal case. The Senate delayed action to allow her “time to reflect and resign,” he said.
“She declined that opportunity,” McNally said.
He called Wednesday a “sad day for the Senate.”
Robinson previously said prosecutors unfairly targeted and pursued her on trumped up charges, which are unrelated to her role in the Tennessee General Assembly. Robinson was initially charged with 48 counts in connection with her ownership of a nursing school and its management of federal grant funds.
Original Article: https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2022/02/02/tennessee-senator-katrina-robinson-expelled-senate-over-fraud-charges/9204524002/