published Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Lamar Alexander 'stunned' at child porn investigation involving chief of staff (with videos)

NASHVILLE — The U.S. Justice Department says Sen. Lamar Alexander's chief of staff Ryan Loskarn was arrested today on probable cause for posession and distribution of child pornography charges.

Alexander, R-Tenn., fired the 35-year-old top aide.

Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said in a statement that Loskarn was arrested by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Loskarn, who was arrested at his home and led away in handcuffs, is scheduled for a hearing in federal court on Thursday.

According to Carr, Loskarn remains in custody pending the hearing. Additional information is expected to come out in court or as it is unsealed.

Alexander late this afternoon announced he is replaced Loskarn with David Cleary, saying "David has worked with me for eight years and fortunately is well-prepared to step into this position.

“Earlier today, I was informed by the United States Senate legal counsel’s office that law enforcement agents were conducting a search of the personal residence of Ryan Loskarn, who has been chief of staff of my Washington, D.C., office, regarding allegations involving child pornography.

He said he is "stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned. Based on this information, I immediately placed Mr. Loskarn on administrative leave without pay. The office is fully cooperating with the investigation."

Alexander said "the courts will judge Mr. Loskarn’s guilt or innocence, but under these circumstances, he cannot continue to fulfill his duties as chief of staff of this office. Therefore, as of today, I have removed him from the payroll.”

about Andy Sher...

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, ...

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