The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is reviewing information it has received regarding the sexual harassment case against state Sen. Jack Latvala.
Before Latvala announced on Wednesday that he would resign from the Florida Senate saying he “had enough,” a second report by an independent counsel looking into the sexual harassment allegations against the Clearwater Republican was released.
It’s findings were similar to those reported Tuesday by a special master retained by the Senate to specifically look into the harassment claims of Senate staffer Rachel Perrin Rogers.
Perrin Rogers was one of six women who anonymously claimed in early November that Latvala had made lewd comments to them and/or touched them inappropriately. She was the only one of the six to file a complaint against the senator with the Senate Rules Committee. The complaint prompted Senate President Joe Negron to appoint retired judge Ronald V. Swanson to serve as special master to investigate Perrin Rogers’ claims.
Swanson determined Latvala should not only be sanctioned for making repeated inappropriate physical contact with Perrin Rogers, but also be investigated by law enforcement for allegedly exchanging his support for legislation in return for sexual favors, which is a violation of ethics rules and laws against public corruption.
Charges of quid pro quo contained in Swanson’s report — physical contact or sexual intimacy “in exchange for support of legislative initiatives” — were made by another witness other than Perrin Rogers.
Swanson recommended the evidence against Latvala be turned over to law enforcement. The Senate sent the information in the report to the Tallahassee Police Department, which forwarded the material to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
“FDLE has received the initial information regarding the Senate’s investigation into Sen. Latvala,” said agency spokeswoman Jessica Cary. “At this point, FDLE is conducting a preliminary review.”
Cary says how long the review will take depends on the nature of the information contained in the Senate report.
“I can not provide a time-frame,” Cary said. “If allegations are criminal in nature, reviews become investigations.”