NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):
antidepressant. All the signs and symptoms of Antidepressant-Induced Bipolar
Disorder are clear – the infidelity, the lying, the divorce, the suicidal
happened to cause this! One man’s use of an antidepressant and look how many
lives have been negatively affected! Another family and another leader
destroyed by the negative effects of these drugs.
society, our families, our lives? Is profit really worth it? Does that make it
okay to destroy so many just for money and power? I will never understand that
figures. Sheriff’s deputies found him Nov. 8, slumped semiconscious on the edge
of the bathtub at his west Georgia home after he called his mother to say he had
swallowed pills. A suicide note and a silver .357 Magnum were on the counter
next to him. The contents of the note have not been released.
including a 2007 ethics complaint by House Democrats over the same alleged
affair ex-wife Susan Richardson accused him of on TV this week. In an interview
Monday with Fox 5 Atlanta, Susan Richardson said she had e-mails between her
ex-husband and the lobbyist for Atlanta Gas Light that prove the affair. The
couple divorced in February 2008.”
ATLANTA — Georgia’s powerful House speaker resigned
Thursday after a suiciide attempt and allegations by his ex-wife of an affair
with a lobbyist.
Glenn Richardson, the state’s first GOP speaker since
Reconstruction, had won sympathy from even his political enemies when he
revealed last month that he attempted suicide by swallowing sleeping pills.
But then his ex-wife went on TV and accused him of having “a full-out affair”
with a lobbyist while they were still married.
Richardson did not
address that allegation in a brief statement issued through the House
communications office in which he said he will leave both his position as
speaker and his House seat on Jan. 1. He did mention his recent admission,
made in the wake of his suicide attempt, that he has grappled with
“I fear that the media attention of this week has deflected
this message and done harm to many people who suffer from this condition,” he
said in the statement.
House Republican lawmakers received the news
from an emotional Richardson during a conference call just before the
statement was released.
“It was very painful for those of us on the
listening end,” state Rep. David Ralston said.
Richardson, once thought to be a serious contender for governor, had gone
right back to shaking hands at chicken-and-grits fundraisers after trying to
kill himself. But he had been silent since his ex-wife claimed this week that
he slept with a lobbyist pushing a $300 million pipeline bill he was
It has been a dizzying fall for one of Georgia’s most
powerful political figures. Sheriff’s deputies found him Nov. 8, slumped
semiconscious on the edge of the bathtub at his west Georgia home after he
called his mother to say he had swallowed pills. A suicide note and a silver
.357 Magnum were on the counter next to him. The contents of the note have not
Secretary of State Karen Handel, a leading GOP candidate
for governor in 2010, called Richardson’s personal turmoil “heartbreaking” but
said meetings at the state Capitol were grinding to a halt because he was
missing in action amid the worst state budget crunch in the state
She and the Georgia Christian Coalition were among those who
had called Thursday for Richardson to resign.
Once Richardson steps
down, House Speaker Pro Tem Mark Burkhalter will become interim speaker, and
the Republican caucus will have 120 days to elect a permanent
University of Georgia political science professor Charles
Bullock said Richardson is known for comebacks, but the latest round of news
may have finally damaged him beyond repair.
“Heading into an election
year, I think Republicans would rather not still be talking about the life and
loves of Glenn Richardson,” Bullock said.
Richardson was revered among
some conservatives for helping engineer a GOP takeover of the Georgia House in
2004 after decades of Democratic control. But his short temper has often left
him feuding with the state’s other leading Republicans. In 2007, a red-faced
Richardson accused Gov. Sonny Perdue of showing his “backside” after the two
feuded over tax cuts.
On Thursday, Perdue issued a statement saying
Richardson made the right decision, which should give him privacy that will
“enable him to recover fully and completely.”
Richardson has also been
dogged by messy personal and ethical problems, including a 2007 ethics
complaint by House Democrats over the same alleged affair ex-wife Susan
Richardson accused him of on TV this week. In an interview Monday with Fox 5
Atlanta, Susan Richardson said she had e-mails between her ex-husband and the
lobbyist for Atlanta Gas Light that prove the affair. The couple divorced in
In one e-mail, according to Fox 5, the lobbyist worried
that she would be fired if the affair became public. Glenn Richardson
responded by saying he would “bring all hell down” on Atlanta Gas Light if
The 2007 Democratic complaint was dismissed by a
legislative ethics panel for lack of evidence, and a defiant Richardson used a
breakfast speech before a room full of Georgia business leaders to threaten
retaliation against those he said he said were trying bring him down with
The bad news, according to Richardson, “is that I survived.”
And, he continued, “I’m looking for those that manufactured that
But Susan Richardson’s allegations have spawned a new ethics
complaint by a government watchdog this week, and Georgia Attorney General
Thurbert Baker’s office said Thursday it had begun looking into the
Glenn Richardson has not responded to the affair allegations
and a spokesman did not return a phone call on Thursday seeking additional
Associated Press Writer Greg Bluestein contributed
to this report.