The Florida Senate’s Budget Chairman, Republican Jack Latvala, is being accused by six women who work in the Florida Capital building that he inappropriately touched them.
For fear of losing their jobs, the women will remain anonymous, but in a long piece today in Politico, the allegations against Mr Latvala are described in detail.
Asked for a reaction to the story, Mr Latvala said: “the Senate provided you with a letter that I have never had a complaint filed against me in 16 years. I’m sure that you have handpicked people and you are going to let anonymous people have this kind of impact on the career of a guy who has been there for 16 years. I’ve never had a complaint filed against me.”
However, when enquiries were made among his fellow republicans, stories do surface. Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz described Mr Latvala’s behavior: “He’s a hound. I mean, everyone in Tallahassee knows that Jack Latvala is an absolute hound. Jack believes that his power as a legislator gives him some special power with women. And, there are times when it’s clearly unrequited.”
Many lobbyists and staffers came forward to Politico with stories about Mr Latvala’s behaviour, whilst one fo the women, who works for a Republican-led firm, put it best when, she said that Latvala simply an extreme case of the “common culture of Tallahassee” where sex is ever-present.
“Tallahassee is a place you go to break up your marriage,” the female lobbyist explained “You see men who say they’re of faith and values and the next thing you know they’re chasing tail and getting divorced.”
Mr Gaetz expects Mr Latvala “to withdraw from the governor’s race in fear that there will be a cascade of women coming forward” as there are pictures of him kissing a lobbyist ready to surface soon.
One of Mr Latvala’s closest allies in the Florida Senate, Mr Jeff Clemens, had resigning his seat earlier this year after he admitted to having an extramarital affair with a lobbyist.