Jack Latvala, a Republican state senator from Florida, has announced that he will be stepping down after an investigation revealed credible evidence of sexual misconduct.
Latvala sent a letter of resignation to Senate President Joe Negron, stating, “I have never intentionally dishonored my family, my constituents or the Florida Senate” and claiming, “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 resignation comes after Governor Rick Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi called for Latvala’s resignation. This was in response to the findings of a recent investigation showing a string of sexual misconduct spanning Latvala’s career.
Retired Judge Ronald Swanson released a 33-page report that documents explicit text messages from Latvala over the past three years, in which he agrees to support a lobbyist’s agenda if she would have sex with him or let him touch her sexually.
Swanson writes that the woman, not named in the report but who is now a Senate employee, provides “testimony [that] raises issues of public corruption and ethics violations not within the scope of this report.”
The report also cites Latvala’s other offensive behavior, including “making grunting or growling sounds, hugging women so tight it made them uncomfortable and drinking Grey Goose vodka.”
Latvala’s conduct may even be criminal at this point, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has begun conducting a preliminary review.
And it gets worse. The Senate has released a second report from an independent investigator that was looking into anonymous claims of sexual harassment against Latvala by multiple women. The women claim that Latvala repeatedly shamed or groped them and attempted intimate physical contact in exchange for his attention to legislative requests.
The report states that the women feared retaliation for speaking out against Latvala.