State Attorney says there is “insufficient evidence” to pursue public corruption charges against former Sen. Jack Latvala

by | Jul 26, 2018

Former state Sen. Jack Latvala will not face public corruption charges stemming from allegations of sexual harassment against him. The decision not to charge Latvala was announced Thursday afternoon by Tallahassee State Attorney Jack Campbell.

In a short one-paragraph letter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Campbell agreed with FDLE investigators that the evidence did not warrant charges.

“We agree with FDLE’s conclusion that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Latvala was unlawfully compensated or rewarded for his official behavior as a Florida Senator,” Campbell wrote in a letter to FDLE.

“Since criminal charges are not warranted, this office will take no further action on the matter,” Campbell concluded his letter to FDLE.

The investigation into public corruption allegations against Latvala surfaced months after Latvala was accused of sexual harassment charges. Six women anonymously told their stories to Politico in early November. They accused Latvala of touching them inappropriately or making lewd comments towards them, or both.

The allegations dominated headlines and led to two special investigations by independent counsel hired by the Senate to look into the charges. Those investigations both determined that Latvala had groped women and made insensitive comments.

They also determined that Latvala may have traded his legislative influence in exchange for sexual favors. One of the reports suggested that charges of quid pro quo for sexual favors in exchange for legislative action by Latvala be forwarded to law enforcement to investigate for possible public corruption.

Those charges were turned over to FDLE for review. In January, FDLE announced that review had turned into an official criminal investigation.   

In late June, FDLE submitted a 90-page report to the state attorney’s office in Tallahassee. After spending the last several weeks reviewing that report, the state attorney reached his decision that there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue charges against Latvala.

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