SCANDAL AND SHAME: Senator Jack Latvala Quits!

21 December, 2017, 00:31 | Author: Essie Rivera
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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.

"I have never intentionally dishonored my family, my constituents or the Florida Senate", Latvala wrote in his resignation letter to Senate President Joe Negron.

In the letter, Latvala says he will resign his seat in the Senate at midnight on January 5, 2018.

He claimed that his enemies have latched on to the #MeToo movement "to rid our country of sexual harassment to try to rid the Florida Senate of me".

Special Master Ronald Swanson, a retired judge, released the report with recommendations Tuesday. She said Latvala inappropriately touched her in an elevator, at a private club and other occasions.

"I have had enough. If this is the process our Party and Senate leadership desires, then I have no interest in continuing to serve with you".

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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.

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".

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

She said on many occasions, Latvala would comment on her appearance by saying she looked "hot" and would stare at her chest as she tried to talk about legislative issues with him. He made no mention of his candidacy for governor.

"Further, given the seriousness of the allegations and the findings in the reports, I have directed my campaign and political committee to make a sponsorship donation in the amount of $50,000 from Saving Florida's Heartland, as well as $12,000 from my Agriculture Commissioner campaign account to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence", she stated. 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.

"Senator Latvala made the right decision".

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