Latvala says he's had enough and resigns from Senate

Florida GOP state senator investigated for 'quid pro quo' of sexual intimacy for 'support of legislative initiatives'

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.

Latvala, a Republican who is also running for governor, denied wrongdoing even as he submitted his letter of resignation to Florida Senate President Joe Negron. "My political adversaries have latched onto this effort to rid our country of sexual harassment to try to rid the Florida Senate of me".

Latvala has maintained that the charges against him are fabrications.

Perrin Rogers filed the complaint last month with the Senate Rules Committee, which then hired Swanson to conduct the investigation and make recommendations. There are now two separate Senate reports investigating the sexual misconduct allegations that were made public against Latvala, with the process ultimately leading to fellow senators making a determination about his future in the legislative body.

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


Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) called on Latvala to resign earlier in the day, the AP noted. Resigning is the best thing he can do now for his constituents, colleagues and the state, " said Scott in an emailed statement to WJCT News.

Latvala has said he has been known to tell some women they look "hot" but that he's never touched anyone against their will. The identity of that accuser and all of the evidence collected by Swanson should become public — including the text messages between Latvala and the former lobbyist.

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.

"Senator Latvala made the right decision".

"Our country has been caught up in a movement to shine a spotlight on behavior that dishonors women", Latvala's resignation letter says.

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