Alexander Aide Sidelined in Porn Probe

Photograph by Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo

A person walks near the office of Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 11, 2013.

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who is facing a Tea Party-backed challenger in his 2014 Republican primary, announced today that his chief of staff, long-time Capitol Hill aide Ryan Loskarn, has been placed on leave as law enforcement agents probe allegations involving child pornography.

In an issued statement, Alexander said Loskarn’s home is being searched as part of the probe, and the second-term senator said he had just been informed of the allegations today by the Senate legal counsel’s office.

“I am stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned,” Alexander said in his statement. “Based on this information, I immediately placed Mr. Loskarn on administrative leave without pay. The office is fully cooperating with the investigation.”

Loskarn took the top staff post in Alexander’s office in 2011 after serving for four years as a staff director of the Senate Republican Conference, a job he held when Alexander was chairman of the conference and earlier when former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl ran it. Loskarn earlier served for seven years as an aide in the House, with jobs that included deputy press secretary to the House Rules Committee and communications director for Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican. He’s a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans.

Alexander faces a primary challenge next year from state Rep. Joe Carr, a Republican with the backing of Tea Party groups.

 

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