Sen. Lamar Alexander’s Chief of Staff Put on Leave Following Child Pornography Allegations

The Tennessee Republican is “stunned” about his staffer, Ryan Loskarn.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) speaks to members of the media at the Capitol October 11, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Add to Briefcase
Elahe Izadi, Brian Resnick and Matt Berman
Dec. 11, 2013, 6:57 a.m.

Sen. Lamar Al­ex­an­der, R-Tenn., sent out a re­lease Wed­nes­day morn­ing an­noun­cing that his chief of staff, Ry­an Los­karn, is be­ing put on leave over al­leg­a­tions in­volving child por­no­graphy. “I am stunned, sur­prised and dis­ap­poin­ted by what I have learned,” the sen­at­or said in a state­ment.

Los­karn, 35, was ar­res­ted in the af­ter­noon by the Postal In­spec­tion Ser­vice “based on prob­able cause for pos­ses­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion of child por­no­graphy charges,” said Justice De­part­ment spokes­man Peter Carr.

Los­karn is in cus­tody pending a court hear­ing, ex­pec­ted Thursday at a fed­er­al court­house in D.C.

Al­ex­an­der’s of­fice an­nounced Wed­nes­day morn­ing that Los­karn is on leave without pay, and the sen­at­or’s of­fice is fully co­oper­at­ing with the in­vest­ig­a­tion. Law en­force­ment agents are search­ing Los­karn’s home Wed­nes­day, ac­cord­ing to Al­ex­an­der’s state­ment.

By Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, Al­ex­an­der had re­placed Los­karn with Dav­id Cleary as his chief of staff. Cleary is the Re­pub­lic­an staff dir­ect­or for the Sen­ate Health, Edu­ca­tion, Labor and Pen­sions Com­mit­tee, which Al­ex­an­der serves on as rank­ing mem­ber.

“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,” Al­ex­an­der said in a state­ment. There­fore, as of today, I have re­moved him from the payroll.”

The in­vest­ig­a­tion is be­ing led the the the Postal In­spec­tion Ser­vice. Spokes­wo­man Lori Mc­Cal­lister tells Na­tion­al Journ­al that her agency con­duc­ted a “law en­force­ment” ac­tion in South­east D.C. Wed­nes­day morn­ing. “All doc­u­ments re­lated to the law en­force­ment ac­tion are un­der seal,” she said.

On Thursday, Wash­ing­ton City Pa­per re­por­ted that po­lice had searched his home Wed­nes­day and found “hun­dreds of videos of un­der­age boys en­gaged in sexu­ally ex­pli­cirt con­duct and some videos with young girls on the hard drive.” When they ar­rived, re­portedly, Los­karn was “lean­ing out­side the middle second win­dow,” at­tempt­ing to get the port­able hard drive out­side of his home.

It wasn’t long ago that things were look­ing rather good for Los­karn. A former staff dir­ect­or of the Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­an Con­fer­ence, he was on Roll Call‘s 2009 “Fab­ulous 50 Movers and Shakers” on Cap­it­ol Hill list. He be­came Al­ex­an­der’s chief of staff at the end of 2011. Be­fore then, he was the staff dir­ect­or of the Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­an Con­fer­ence for more than two years and worked in the House as an aide for sev­en years for vari­ous Re­pub­lic­an law­makers.

Contributions by Sarah Mimms

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.