The Tennessee Association for Justice has fired its in-house Capitol Hill lobbyist who is connected with embattled state Rep. Rob Briley and allegedly had an affair with him.
Suzanne Keith, the executive director of the group formerly known as the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, said its lobbyist and legal counsel Mary Littleton was no longer employed by the organization, effective Monday.
Keith would not say why.
“I’m not going to comment on internal personnel matters,” Keith said.
Keith did not use the term “fired,” but a source close to the group told The City Paper that Littleton was “terminated” effective at 5 p.m. Monday.
Littleton was listed on the group’s Web site as legal counsel as late as Monday morning but the trial lawyer group had removed her from the list by early Monday afternoon.
The separation comes about a week-and-a-half after the Nashville Scene alleged in a story that Littleton had an affair with Briley (D-Nashville).
Besides the fact that Briley was married, Littleton heavily lobbied the House Judiciary Committee, a panel that Briley served on and chaired earlier this year.
Keith said “no comment” when asked if the allegations played a role in Littleton’s termination.
The board of the Tennessee Association for Justice made the decision to fire Littleton at a meeting last week.
Briley resigned the Judiciary Committee chairmanship shortly after being charged with two felonies, a DUI and several additional misdemeanors resulting from two separate incidents in DeKalb and Wilson counties in early September.
After he was arrested, Briley listed Littleton as one of his contacts on his arrest report. The pair later said Littleton was going to serve as Briley’s attorney, but the Nashville Democrat later hired other counsel.
Briley is scheduled to appear in court in Wilson County Oct. 31.
Littleton did not return a call for comment.