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Richard Corcoran wants Congress to end its ‘perverse hush fund’

House Speaker Richard Corcoran wants Congress to put an end to a “perverse hush fund” that has been used over the years to settle sexual harassment claims.

The Land O’Lakes Republican sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday in response to reports that the Office of Compliance has used $17 million from a fund it manages to make sexual harassment claims of more than 250 Congressional members go away.

“I ask you to please bring a swift end to this perverse hush fund — it is not only the right thing to do, but it is also a needed step toward regaining the trust of the taxpayers,” Corcoran said.

While Corcoran has not yet announced a bid for governor, it is widely speculated he will enter the race after Session, and he may be capitalizing on this request because no Florida House members have yet been accused of sexual harassment.

“Congress should follow the lead of the Florida House in making it easier for victims to be heard,” he said.

But in his letter, Corcoran said the state is not “without fault” when it comes to sexual harassment and said he has “deep gratitude and admiration” for the women who have shared the harrowing accounts.

Narrowing the scope to Florida, numerous women have come forward within the past month, accusing powerful senators and the leader of the Florida Democratic Party, Stephen Bittel, of sexual harassment. So far two have resigned, Sen. Jeff Clemens and Bittel.

Sen. Jack Latvala, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, is currently under investigation by the Senate in light of six unnamed women accusing him of sexually harassing and groping them.

The Senate sexual harassment policy is currently under review.

Written By

Ana covers politics and policy Before joining the News Service of Florida she wrote for the Naples Daily News and was the legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press and covered policy issues impacting immigration, the environment, criminal justice and social welfare in Florida. She holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University. After graduating in 2014, she worked as a criminal justice reporter for the Monterey Herald and the Monterey County Weekly. She has also freelanced for The Washington Post at the U.S.-Mexico border covering crime in the border city of Tijuana, where she grew up. Ana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.

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