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Sen. Paul Stanley has quit as chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce, Labor and Agriculture Committee. In a letter to Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, the Senate speaker, Stanley said he's stepping down "in light of recent events that have occurred and my involvement in an ongoing investigation." Ramsey just put out this one-sentence statement:
"I have received a letter from Senator Stanley resigning from his chairmanship of the Commerce, Labor and Agriculture Committee and I have accepted his resignation."
At the Commercial Appeal,
Rick Locker cites Capitol sources as saying Stanley has no plans to resign from the Senate.
Ramsey's in Philadelphia attending a national legislative conference and hasn't made himself available to reporters for comment. Here's Pith
's question: What did Ramsey know and when did he know it? The events in this sex scandal happened in April. Did Ramsey know about it then? If so, why was it OK for Stanley to remain as committee chairman for the rest of the session and, now that it's become public, it's not OK anymore?
: Ramsey aide Lance Frizzell just strolled through the Legislative Plaza pressroom and answered our question. When did Ramsey learn of all this? "Yesterday, when the news broke," Frizzell says. He didn't know in April? "No, the TBI, to their credit, they didn't leak at all. That's what I know."
Democrats are laying low on all this, content to watch the spectacle in silence. This is the only remark we could pry out of party chair Chip Forrester: "It troubles me immensely that the senator is involved in this, but I think that it's best left to the authorities, who are investigating this thoroughly, at this point, to allow that process to continue and work itself through."
See also the AP:
Stanley wore a wire during the blackmail sting.