Ryan Loskarn

Ryan Loskarn, chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), is escorted from his Washington home by police. (WJLA / December 11, 2013)

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WASHINGTON - A senior aide to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of possessing and distributing child pornography.

Law enforcement officials took Ryan Loskarn, chief of staff in Alexander’s Washington office, into custody after seizing evidence in his home.

Loskarn was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

Alexander said he was "stunned, surprised and disappointed."

"I was just informed by United 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," Alexander said in a statement.

Loskarn was placed on leave without pay. Alexander named his legislative director, David Cleary, to replace Loskarn as chief of staff.

"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.

Loskarn, 35, became Alexander’s chief of staff last year. He previously had served as communications director for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and a staff assistant for former Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.).

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