Florida ethics panel to take up Jack Latvala case

Jack Latvala
Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater). By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (2 Dec. 2016).

The Florida Commission on Ethics is slated next week to consider a motion from a state lawyer to dismiss a long-running ethics case against former Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater.

The commission’s July 28 agenda includes the motion by attorney Elizabeth Miller, who serves as what is known as an advocate for the commission.

Latvala left office in 2017 after the release of a special master’s report about allegations he had sexually harassed Rachel Perrin Rogers, a former high-ranking Senate aide.

Latvala, who served as the powerful Senate appropriations chairman before his resignation, denied wrongdoing with the Senate aide but admitted he had an extramarital affair with former lobbyist Laura McLeod.

After receiving a complaint, the ethics commission launched a probe into the allegations in January 2018. The commission last year rejected a proposed settlement and referred the case to the Division of Administrative Hearings.

But Miller on June 30 asked an administrative law judge to drop the case against Latvala because Perrin Rogers and McLeod had refused to participate in the inquiry.

Miller’s request was granted, and the Division of Administrative Hearings case was closed, sending the issue back to the ethics commission.

Miller’s motion last week cited the same reasons for dropping the ethics commission case.

©2023 The News Service of Florida

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