The speaker of the Georgia House, Glenn Richardson, resigned from his seat Thursday amid allegations four days ago from an ex-wife that he had an affair with a lobbyist. According to Richardson’s wife, Susan Richardson, the speaker’s affair with a lobbyist from the Atlanta Gas Light coincided with legislation he sponsored that would have benefited the company with a desired pipeline.
In an interview with local station WAGA, Ms. Richardson revealed a pattern of abuse and threats of physical violence from Richardson after the couple’s divorce. About a month ago, the speaker was hospitalized for an admitted suicide attempt, which his ex-wife said was a ploy to bring couple back together.
“…his political career essentially ended when Susan Richardson went on WAGA. Until then, he had appeared to have weathered his attempted suicide. Democrats and Republicans alike rushed to express sympathy and support.
“That unraveled when Susan Richardson, looking calm and competent, appeared on television in an interview WAGA spread over three days.
“Richardson’s colleagues in the House seemed shocked by his ex-wife’s statements. There were days of private meetings, including a top secret gathering at the Governor’s Mansion late Wednesday, cryptic conversations and a 24-hour period of wild rumor mongering.
“Calls for his resignation began in earnest Thursday morning. By 4:30 p.m., it was done.
“His resignation will end a reign that began after the GOP’s historic takeover of the House in 2004. In that time, Richardson was driven, impassioned and prone to occasional outbursts.”
Georgia bloggers comment:
Georgia Legislative Watch: Statement from former House Speaker Glenn Richardson.
Peach Pundit: Statement by Speaker Pro Tem Burkhalter.
“For one thing, Richardson himself ‘admitted he could no longer be effective as Speaker’ — either emotionally or politically, one House member said.”
Blog for Democracy: That was fast.
“It took less than 72 hours for the speaker of the Georgia House, one of the most powerful people in state politics, to be smashed, destroyed, and run out of office. Just like that, Glenn Richardson’s political career is finished.”
Gold Dome Live: Incoming speaker said he’ll work to change image at the Capitol
Peach Pundit: The next Fox 5 target.
“I’ve confirmed that Fox 5 is going to review the handling of the ethics investigation into Glenn Richardson and allege that Eric Johnson has some responsibility in letting it go on.”
Peach Pundit: Majority Leader Jerry Keen future speaker?
Peach Pundit: Some Free Advice For The New Speaker.
“Reading the paper this morning it seems most House members support Burkhalter which is good for him. When I first heard that Richardson would resign but not until January 1 I wasn’t too happy. Why wait until then?”
“Some in the media have speculated that one reason for the delay of the inevitable departure of Glenn Richardson is that he would immediately lose his $98,000.00 a year salary as Speaker of the Georgia House and, as that is rumored to currently be his primary income, there is worry about how he would ‘cope.’”
Jason Pye: Recalling a big news day in Georgia.
Lucid Idiocy (Politics): On Richardson’s resignation statement.
“Mr. Speaker, and I write this as someone who would like to see you do well: Until you look inward, you won’t begin to solve your problems.”
Peach Pundit: Resignation day reporting timeline.
Peach Pundit: Top elected Republican calls for Richardson to go.