Florida state senator resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations

Florida state senator resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations

A GOP state senator and gubernatorial candidate in Florida resigned Wednesday after an investigation reportedly found credible evidence of sexual misconduct.

Jack Latvala continued to deny any wrongdoing in a letter to state Senate President Joe Negron (R) announcing he would step down Jan. 5, The Associated Press reported.

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

ADVERTISEMENT

Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) called on Latvala to resign earlier in the day, the AP noted.

Several women had accused Latvala of inappropriately touching them or making demeaning comments about their bodies. The women, who declined to be identified, included Senate staff and lobbyists. 

Investigators found additional women who indicated Latvala had a habit of telling dirty jokes and suggesting he would support legislation in exchange for sexual favors.

Latvala was removed in November as budget chairman in the state Senate, but said he believed he would be “fully exonerated.”

Lawmakers in state capitols across the country have been grappling in recent months with a heightened focus on allegations of sexual misconduct.

A number of politicians have announced their resignations or retirements in recent weeks following such allegations, including California state lawmakers, Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenElection Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls #MeToo era shows there's almost never only one accuser, says Hill.TV's Krystal Ball Hypocrisy in Kavanaugh case enough to set off alarms in DC MORE (D-Minn.), Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersCongressional Ethics committees are the wrong place to settle harassment and discrimination claims Conservative activist disrupts campaign event for Muslim candidates Michigan Dems elect state's first all-female statewide ticket for midterms MORE Jr. (D-Mich.), Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksFreedom Caucus members see openings in leadership AP Analysis: 25 state lawmakers running in 2018 have been accused of sexual misconduct Jordan weathering political storm, but headwinds remain MORE (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdFormer aides alleging sexual harassment on Capitol Hill urge congressional action AP Analysis: 25 state lawmakers running in 2018 have been accused of sexual misconduct Ex-lawmakers see tough job market with trade groups MORE (R-Texas).