Tennessee Senate Expels Democrat Senator Convicted of Wire Fraud


The Tennessee State Senate voted on Wednesday to remove Democrat Senator Katrina Robinson from office by a vote of 27-5.

Last month, Robinson was convicted of wire fraud charges. The Tennessee Star previously reported that jurors convicted Robinson on four of five counts of wire fraud. Also, federal officials accused her of using federal grant money awarded to a health care school, The Healthcare Institute (THI), which Robinson operates. She was accused of using $600,000 from the school to pay for her wedding, a political campaign event, and other personal expenses.

Memphis-based Action News 5 reported that Robinson was originally indicted on 15 counts of embezzlement and five counts of wire fraud. A judge in September of 2021 removed the embezzlement charges and in January removed two of the four convicted wire fraud charges. Due to a plea deal, one of the remaining charges was dismissed. Robinson stipulated to the crimes as part of the plea agreement.

The Associated Press reported that Robinson called her a expulsion a “procedural lynching.”

Lt. Governor Randy McNally made a statement following the Senate vote to expel Robinson:

“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. The integrity of the Senate is of paramount importance. Senator Robinson was given every consideration and due process. The Senate could have acted immediately following her conviction. The Senate instead allowed her time to pursue every legal motion and all have been considered by the court. The Senate also delayed action in order to allow Senator Robinson time to reflect and resign. She declined that opportunity. The Ethics Committee Report was thoughtful, informative and persuasive. Senators Haile and Stevens clearly demonstrated that Senator Robinson’s actions demanded her removal from the body. While this result was avoidable, Senator Robinson actions and her refusal to resign made it inevitable. A sad day for the Senate.”

In January, the Tennessee Senate Ethics Committee determined Robinson violated the Senate’s ethics code and voted to recommend her expulsion to the full floor.

The Tennessee Constitution gives both chambers of the General Assembly the power to remove a member of the respective body.

Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offense; and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the Legislature of a free state.

Prior to this, the Tennessee State Senate reportedly has not voted to expel a member in at least 150 years.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]




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5 Thoughts to “Tennessee Senate Expels Democrat Senator Convicted of Wire Fraud”

  1. John

    So she gets to plea down the charges and gets expelled? That’s it? That’s not justice.

  2. rick

    Her wire fraud conviction is pure racism, theft should be legal. Why would the Senate not want her to stay in office, the democrats will soon promote her to head up their finances. Call in Starbuck as a consultant. To not be able to steal and get away with it is pure racism. “Lets

  3. Truthy McTruthFace

    typical dem. very typical memphis dem.

  4. And no surprise – Robinson’s reaction: “procedural lynching,” “racist” and “misogynistic.” Then goes on to say others have done things, too.

    Love the “take personal responsibility” attitude. Not. These criminals have no self-awareness. Expect her to run for another office in the future.

  5. John Bumpus

    I think that the statement of Lt. Governor McNally is a complete and accurate recounting of the events leading to the expulsion of State Sen. Robinson. I do not think that State Sen. Robinson was treated unfairly in any way by the Tennessee Senate in this matter. In fact, I think that the State Senate was more than fair with State Sen. Robinson in this matter. Of course, State Sen. Robinson did not want to be expelled from the State Senate for her conviction for fraud. But what did she reasonably expect? Actions have consequences. Our State’s leaders are expected to be honest, responsible people. A Federal Court jury in Memphis, and now our Tennessee Senate, said that she wasn’t. Facts are facts. Truth and honesty are important. That is just the way that it is and has to be.

    Except for State Sen. Gilmore, a Democrat from Nashville, who was absent from the State Senate for the vote, all of the State Senate’s Democrats (including Robinson herself) voted NO for expulsion!