Jack Latvala resigns from Florida Senate amid corruption allegations

Gov. Rick Scott: Latvala should resign

According to reports that first surfaced in early November, Republican state senator Jack Latvala had made lewd comments to and groped at least six women who worked in the state's Capitol.

Latvala, 66, is a 16-year veteran of the Senate and a Republican candidate for governor looking to replace the term-limited Scott next year. 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 report released Tuesday also includes several other witness accounts of sexual misconduct by Latvala, a Republican who is also running for governor.

In his letter of resignation, Latvala maintains his innocence saying, "the charges in the original complaint are fabrications". 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.

"I have had enough. I, therefore, will resign my seat in the Florida Senate at midnight, January 5, 2018".

A weeks-long investigation by a Special Master found probably cause that Latvala participated in improper and unwanted verbal and physical contact with a Senate staffer.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, Scott called for Latvala's resignation calling it "the best thing he can do for his constituents, colleagues, and the state".

One former lobbyist said that Latvala would touch her inappropriately, including touching the outside of her bra and panties, every time they were alone in the office. Latvala did not immediately return a text message seeking comment.

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

It also is clear that Latvalas resignation and Swansons report should not be the final word on his actions or the toxic atmosphere in the Florida Legislature.

A special master investigator appointed by the Senate to investigate the accusations against Latvala says he should be sanctioned and face a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation.

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