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Glenn Richardson, the speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, seems likely to resign at any moment. Richardson's tragic tale involves a suicide attempt last month after a bout with depression. The proximate cause of his political downfall, though, is his ex-wife's allegations that he had an extramarital affair with a lobbyist while sponsoring legislation to benefit the utility for which she worked.
Richardson's troubles culminate quite a bad year for speakers. In Florida, Ray Sansom lost his job as speaker in a community college scandal. He remains under investigation.
Sal DiMasi, the former speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, faces federal corruption charges. He resigned in January.
And, Pennsylvania officials recently charged one-time speaker John Perzel with theft, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. In all he faces 82 counts.
What's the grand significance of these high-profile speakers getting in trouble? Probably nothing, other than a simple reminder that some politicians will always succumb to the temptations of power.
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