Jack Latvala Resigns from Florida Senate

posted by Alan McBride - 

Florida state Senator Jack Latvala, a once-powerful figure and a strong Republican candidate in the governor's race, announced his resignation Wednesday.

The resignation from the state Senate will reportedly take effect January 5, according to Latvala.

The departure comes after two separate reports investigating allegations of misconduct were made public, and after highly-placed state officials ... including Gov. Rick Scott ... called on him to step down.

Latvala had faced allegations from six women of inappropriate behavior. 

In five cases, the women leveling the allegations remain anonymous.

In the sixth case, a woman identified as an aide to Senate Republican Majority Leader Wilton Simpson contended that Latvala had groped her or made suggestive comments on four occasions dating back to 2013.

In that case, as well as one of the anonymous reports, a special master indicated there was probable cause for further investigation. 

In the anonymous case cited by the special master, there was also the suggestion that the issue could potentially be turned over to law enforcement to see if possible criminal charges were in order.

Latvala, in his resignation letter to State Senate President Joe Negron, continued to deny any wrong-doing.

He also had strong words about the investigations, saying "If this is the process our Party and Senate leadership desires, I have no interest in continuing to serve with you."

Latvala may be stepping down from his post in the Florida Senate, but his letter made no mention of the governor's race.

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