Jack Latvala resigned from the Senate Wednesday afternoon. In a resignation letter to Senate President Joe Negron, Latvala wrote: “I have never intentionally dishonored my family, my constituents or the Florida Senate.
“My political adversaries have latched onto this effort to rid our country of sexual harassment to try to rid the Florida Senate of me.”
Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday called for Sen. Jack Latvala to resign.
A brief statement from his office came the morning after an investigative report released Tuesday said Latvala, a 66-year-old Clearwater Republican, likely had committed sexual harassment and offered to trade his favorable vote for legislation in return for sex with a female lobbyist.
“Now that the report is complete and probable cause has been found, it is time for Sen. Latvala to resign,” Scott said. “Resigning is the best thing he can do now for his constituents, colleagues and the state.”
Scott’s turn against his former ally was expected, given the shocking nature of the allegations in the report, investigated by a retired appellate judge.
Latvala had stood with Scott, a Naples Republican, during the last Session as the Republican-controlled House, under Speaker Richard Corcoran, tried to kill VISIT FLORIDA and Enterprise Florida, two of Scott’s most favored agencies.
“He’s going to stand with us all the way through, and he’s going to take a lot of arrows for doing it,” Scott said in March. “I can tell you he’s got broad shoulders and can do it.”
(Hat tip to Associated Press reporter Gary Fineout.)