ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A sexual misconduct investigation against State Senator Jack Latvala could become a criminal case after an inquiry determined "probable cause" in the accusations, including physical contact or sexual intimacy "in exchange for support of legislative initiatives."
The initial investigation, completed by retired judge Ronald V. Swanson and detailed in a Special Master Report to Senate leaders, recommended that "the full range of available sanctions should be considered" against Latvala, a Clearwater Republican, along with sexual harassment training for all senators and Senate staff, a review of Senate culture and an investigation into possible corruption.
The investigation into Latvala, accused by six women of sexual harassment, also included allegations of physical contact or sex "in exchange for support of legislative initiatives," the report said.
Latvala, 66, who is also running for governor, stepped down as the Senate's budget chair until the "matter is resolved," according to a letter he wrote to the Senate president.
The Senate can accept report's recommendations or derive its own conclusions following a formal hearing into the claims, according to our news partners at the Tampa Bay Times.
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