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Florida state senator resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations

Florida state senator resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations

Amid accusations of sexual harassment and corruption, and calls for his resignation from high-ranking Republican party officials around the state including Governor Rick Scott, Clearwater Senator Jack Latvala announced he is resigning on Wednesday. The Senate has appropriately turned those allegations over to law enforcement, and it also should send testimony from women who told a second investigator that Latvala repeatedly attempted intimate physical contact in exchange for help on their legislative issues.

Relatively obscured by the attention that allegations against former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore received, Florida has been dealing with a similar situation with a man who wants to be the state's next governor. Even though I have spent my entire career helping women advance in public service, such as the l4 current female judges in the Sixth Circuit whose campaigns I ran, my political adversaries have latched onto this effort to rid our country of sexual harassment to try to rid the Florida Senate of me. The special master's report released Tuesday found probable cause that Latvala sexually harassed a Senate aide by making inappropriate comments about her body and groping her on several occasions.

Latvala has maintained that the charges against him are fabrications. He found probable cause to support almost all of the allegations lodged against Latvala by Senate aide Rachel Perrin Rogers, who accused the Clearwater Republican of making inappropriate comments about her body and groping her on several occasions.

"I have had enough".

A former lobbyist whose name was redacted in the released copy of Swanson's report said Latvala would touch her inappropriately, including touching the outside of her bra and panties, every time they were alone in his office.

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Hours earlier, Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi said he should resign.

The investigation began after a complaint filed by Rachel Perrin Rogers, a top aide to Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson. The report will now be taken up by the Senate Rules Committee on January 11. Latvala did not immediately return a text message seeking comment. "The allegations in this complaint, and the resulting Special Master's Report, describe behavior that violates the public trust".

"It has been my honor to serve my constituents in the Tampa Bay area in the Florida Senate for 15 of the last 23 years", Latvala's letter says.

"Senator Latvala made the right decision".


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