NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Katrina Robinson has been expelled from her position in the Tennessee Senate.
The state’s full Senate voted Feb. 2 on whether to expel her from office.
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.
Sen. Sara Kyle, D-Memphis, had asked the Senate to postpone the vote until after the March 3 final hearing of Robinson in court.
Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, emphasized during the hearing the fact the court hearing for Robinson is not final and should delay the vote. She also stated she didn’t want to make a decision because there is not a conviction.
Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, stated her conduct violated the Senate Ethics rules and asked how her alleged actions violated a rule that she was not subject to at that time.
Sen. John Stevens, R-Huntingdon, stated the Senate needs to protect the institution.
The Senate voted to possibly delay vote of the decision but it was a tie, which means it failed.
At one point, Robinson called the process a “procedural lynching,” at which point there was a verbal disruption in the Senate chambers.
The Senate voted 27 to 5 to accept the Ethics Committee Report to expel Robinson.
Robinson has been embroiled in legal troubles recently, and is currently awaiting sentencing after being convicted on federal fraud charges.
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.
Robinson was acquitted on 15 of 20 charges sought by federal prosecutors.
A jury convicted her of four out of five counts of wire fraud, but a judge later dismissed two more of those charges.
In a press release, Robinson called the process “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, released the following statement after the Senate’s vote:
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.
Robinson had served the 33rd Senatorial district since 2018.
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