Latvala resigns after report finds probable cause, recommends criminal investigation

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — Senator Jack Latvala has resigned after a report from a Senate special master found probable cause to believe he inappropriately touched a former aide.

The Republican Senator from Clearwater submitted a letter of resignation to Senate President Joe Negron on Wednesday. The letter says, “I have had enough. If this is the process our Party and Senate leadership desires, then I have no interest in continuing to serve with you.”

In the letter, Latvala says he will resign his seat in the Senate at midnight on Jan. 5, 2018.

Latvala’s resignation comes one day after the special master released his report finding probable cause. The report also recommended a criminal investigation into whether the Senator traded his vote for sexual favors.

Before his resignation, several top state officials – including Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi – called on Latvala to resign.

“It has been my honor to serve my constituents in the Tampa Bay area in the Florida Senate for 15 of the last 23 years,” Latvala’s letter says. “I have worked hard and tried to do what I thought was in their best interests and those of the State of Florida. I have never intentionally dishonored my family, my constituents or the Florida Senate.”

In his letter of resignation, Latvala maintains his innocence saying, “the charges in the original complaint are fabrications.”

“Unfortunately, except in one instance where there were third party witnesses, the Special Master took the word of the accuser over mine on every count,” Latvala continues, referring to the report released Tuesday.

Latvala is also in the running to become Florida’s next governor. His letter of resignation did not indicate whether he will drop out of the race.

Two other gubernatorial candidates also called for his resignation Wednesday.

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