This Dec. 1, 2012 file photo shows Lamar Alexander announcing his leadership team for his bid for a third term in the U.S. Senate at a meeting of the state Republican Party's executive committee in Nashville. (AP photo)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said Wednesday he has placed his chief of staff on leave after learning the staffer's home was being searched as part of a child pornography investigation.
In a news release Tuesday, the Tennessee Republican said he had just been informed by the Senate legal counsel's office that law enforcement agents were conducting a search of Ryan Loskarn's home. Loskarn is the chief of staff in Alexander's Washington, D.C., office.
"I am stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned," Alexander said in the news release.
Phone and email messages left for Loskarn were not immediately returned.
Alexander said that he immediately placed Loskarn on administrative leave without pay and that his office is fully cooperating with the investigation.
Alexander is a former Tennessee governor and has also served as the U.S. Secretary of Education. He was first elected to the Senate in 2002.
According to Loskarn's biography on his LinkedIn account and several editions of "Who's Who," Loskarn graduated from Tulane University in 2000 and went to work for retired Republican U.S. Rep. Wally Herger of California as a legal assistant.
Loskarn went on to work as the communications director for U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, and eventually became staff director for the Senate Republican Conference.
Loskarn has served as Alexander's chief of staff for two years.
Below is the earlier version of the story
Alexander released this statement today.
"I was just informed by the Untied States Senate legal counsel's office that law enforcement agents are conducting a search of the personal residence of Ryan Loskarn, the chief of staff of my Washington D.C., office regarding allegations involving child pornography. I am stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned. Based on this information, I immediately placed Mr. Loskarn on administrative leave without pay. The office is fully cooperating with the investigation."
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