This booking photo released by the Metropolitan Nashville Police shows state Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, who was arrested late Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, on charges of drunken driving and possession of a gun while under the influence. Todd was a main sponsor of a Tennessee law to allow people with handgun carry permits to bring their guns into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. (AP Photo/Metropolitan Nashville Police)Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
NASHVILLE — The Tuesday night arrest of state Rep. Curry Todd, sponsor of Tennessee’s controversial guns-in-bars law, on DUI and handgun possession charges, quickly found its way into the political sphere today.
Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester called on House GOP leaders to immediately strip Todd, the Republican chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee, of his chairmanship.
“I don’t want to manage the internal operations, but it seems to me that given this egregious action of the DUI and the weapons violation, it would seem that stripping him of his leadership position would be appropriate,” Forrester said.
House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, told reporters “maybe the Democratic Party chairman ought to read the U.S. Constitution before he executes someone for something they haven't been convicted of yet. That would be my suggestion.”
According to a Nashville police affidavit, Todd was pulled over by an officer at 10:55 p.m. Tuesday. He allegedly failed a sobriety field test and refused to take a breathalyzer test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found in a holster between the driver seat and the center console, police said.
McCormick said he had had a “brief personal conversation” with Todd earlier today.
“All of us face challenges and make mistakes in our lives,” McCormick said. “My thoughts and prayers are with Rep. Todd and his family right now. On a personal note, I only hope that he takes the necessary steps to address this issue.”
Asked if Todd would keep his chairmanship, McCormick said, “it's too early to really know if he's going to keep his chairmanship. He's done a good job, and I certainly hope so. We're not going to make any rash decisions until we have a detailed conversation with him” and House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, who appoints chairmen.
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...