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Democrat State Senator Expelled Amid Fraud Charges

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Democrat State Sen. Katrina Robinson was given the boot from the Tennessee Senate on fraud charges after she complained that the allegations against her were based on racism.

The vote on Wednesday was 27 – 5, along party lines, WHBQTV reported.

A Senate Ethics Committee recommended the expulsion after determining Robinson violated the Senate’s code of ethics.

During the meeting, Robinson spoke about other members of the State Senate who have been in situations that had them accused of various crimes and circumstances.

Robinson’s lawyers pleaded her case to the Senate advising her fate in court has not been finalized and she is prepared to resign from the Senate if the outcome is not favorable to her.

The lawyers asked the Senate to let the process complete before making their final decision.

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Democrat Sen. Sara Kyle asked the Senate to wait until Robinson’s court hearing on March 3 and Democrat Sen. Raumesh Akbari argued that her court hearing was not final and that the vote should be delayed.

Robinson played the race card and called the vote a “procedural lynching” but that did not stop the Senate from voting.

But Robinson was convicted of federal fraud charges and is waiting sentencing.

In July 2020, Robinson was charged with stealing more than $600,000 in federal funds received by a health care school she directed and using the money to pay for her wedding and other personal expenses.

The school which Robinson directed, The Healthcare Institute, received more than $2.2 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

She was accused of misusing federal grant money over four years, using the money to pay for her wedding and other personal expenses.

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She was acquitted of 15 of the 20 charges against her, but a jury did convict her of four of five counts of wire fraud, but a judge later dismissed two of the convictions.

Robinson used many popular Democrat keywords in her press release, referring to the vote she said it was “one of the most discriminatory, misogynistic, racist, and partisan hearings against a prominent state Senator in Tennessee.”

State Rep. Antonio Parker, Chairman of the Black Caucus, issued a press release decrying the hearing.

“Expulsion of any member of an elected body is never good for our state and our citizens. The expulsion of Senator Robinson is deeply disheartening. Valid arguments were made to allow for the postponement of the decision made by the senate. The thirty day request to postpone the vote, had it been honored, would have allowed Senator Robinson to complete the legal process and resign if the guilty verdict and sentencing were held up or be voted out based on the rules of the senate. It is a jolting reminder that we operate in the most powerful building in the land where the rules for citizens, the governor, the courts and members are made by the ruling parties,” he said.

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But Republicans defended the vote as necessary.

“While the expulsion of a Senator for the first time in history was not something any of us wished to see, it was a necessary action,” Republican Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported. “The integrity of the Senate is of paramount importance. Senator Robinson was given every consideration and due process.”

He said that she was given the opportunity to resign before a vote but she declined.

“I refuse to resign because I do not want to succumb to the narrative that has been put out in the media and that you all have been swayed by,” she said prior to the Senate vote. “I am not guilty of a crime, and I maintain that.”

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