Former top aide for Tennessee's embattled House speaker to stay on payroll until July

FILE - In this May 2 file photo, House Speaker Glen Casada, R-Franklin, left, talks with Cade Cothren, right, his former chief of staff, during a House session. Cothren resigned Tuesday amid allegations of racist and sexually explicit texts. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A former top aide for Tennessee's embattled House speaker who resigned after admitting to once using cocaine in a legislative office and sending lewd text messages about women will continue to be paid by state taxpayers until July.

House Speaker Glen Casada accepted Chief of Staff Cade Cothren's resignation May 6. While the resignation was effective immediately, Cothren had accumulated more than 300 hours of vacation time.

That means Cothren will continue to stay on the state payroll until July 5.

Casada raised eyebrows earlier this year when he bumped Cothren's salary to nearly $200,000 a year, or about $102 an hour, after naming Cothren as chief of staff at the beginning of the year. The pay increase made Cothren, 32, one of the Legislature's top paid employees.

In