Florida senator Jack Latvala likely touched woman inappropriately

by Garry Watts December 21, 2017, 0:31
Florida senator Jack Latvala likely touched woman inappropriately

Jack Latvala, a powerful member of the Florida Senate and Republican candidate for governor, resigned Wednesday after two reports said he sexually harassed and made demeaning and vulgar comments to female staffers and lobbyists.

Jack Latvala continued to deny any wrongdoing in a letter to state Senate President Joe Negron (R) announcing he would step down January 5, The Associated Press reported. "If this is the process our Party and Senate leadership desires, then I have no interest in serving with you", Latvala wrote in his letter.

A special master's report released Tuesday found probable cause that Sen. But Swanson found there is probable cause to believe Latvala inappropriately touched Rogers in a Senate elevator and at the private Governors Club. However, his smear tactic failed when another accuser, a former Senate aide and lobbyist, came forward to say that Latvala had groped her and promised to vote for whatever she wanted to if she'd have sex with him.

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday called for Sen. Its no coincidence that Corcoran gleefully seized upon the first published report of anonymous allegations of sexual harassment against his most formidable adversary in the Legislature and demanded Latvalas resignation before any investigation took place. "Resigning is the best thing he can do now for his constituents, colleagues and the state", Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement released Wednesday morning. But, I have had enough.

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The complaint was filed by Rachel Perrin Rogers, a top aide to Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson.

The staffer says the senator began making inappropriate comments about her clothing and body parts during the 2013 and 2015 sessions and wouldn't stop even after she asked him to.

Latvala's departure comes after two Senate reports investigating misconduct allegations were made public, setting up a review by fellow senators that could have resulted in his expulsion. The report said the allegations were backed up by text messages that were not included in the document.

Latvala, in his resignation letter, maintained his innocence regarding the allegations. Now the Florida Legislature should make the right decision to root out other misconduct and regain some of its credibility and public trust.

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