Latvala resigns after report finds probable cause, recommends criminal investigation

Latvala resigns after report finds probable cause, recommends criminal investigation

Latvala resigns after report finds probable cause, recommends criminal investigation

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.

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.

"I have never intentionally dishonored my family, my constituents or the Florida Senate", Latvala wrote. 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 also found probable cause that Latvala groped or made sexually suggestive comments to Rachel Perrin Rogers, an aide to Senate Republican Majority Leader Wilton Simpson of Trilby, on four different occasions dating back to 2013. "He also went outside the realm of the original complaint and unknown to me introduced an entirely new issue into the process that I had no ability to challenge or rebut".

Perrin Rogers filed the complaint last month with the Senate Rules Committee, which then hired Swanson to conduct the investigation and make recommendations.

Latvala is accused of agreeing to support a lobbyist's agenda if she would have sex with him or let him touch her in a sexual manner.

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"I have had enough".

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.

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday called for Sen. "Resigning is the best thing he can do now for his constituents, colleagues and the state".

She testified Latvala "placed his hands up her dress, touched the outside of her underwear at her vaginal area, her buttocks, and her breast". He said he would not comment further. That included explicit text messages sent to the woman.

Negron released a statement saying Negron made the "right decision".

Latvala, in his resignation letter, maintained his innocence regarding the allegations.

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