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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Rick Scott calls on Jack Latvala to resign from Florida Senate

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 11:34 AM

After the release of a special master's report that found probable cause of sexual misconduct by Sen. Jack Latvala, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday called for the Clearwater Republican to resign from the Senate.

“Now that the special master report is complete and probable cause has been found, it is time for Senator Latvala to resign,” Scott said in a prepared statement. “Resigning is the best thing he can do now for his constituents, colleagues and the state.”

The special master's report released Tuesday found probable cause that Latvala sexually harassed a Senate aide by making inappropriate comments about her body and groping her on several occasions.

Special Master Ronald Swanson, a former appellate judge, also said testimony and text-message exchanges between the senator and an unidentified woman who was a lobbyist appear to indicate that Latvala violated ethics rules and may have violated “laws prohibiting public corruption.”

The woman testified that Latvala told her on multiple occasions that “if she engaged in sexual acts or allowed him to touch her body in a sexual manner he would support particular legislative items for which she was lobbying,” the report said.

Latvala posted a statement Tuesday night on Facebook that said he would meet with his legal and political team after returning to Tallahassee on Dec. 26 to “consider the future.” He said he would not comment further.

The News Service will have a full story later Wednesday.

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