Florida Senate Will Investigate Allegations Against Senator

Florida Senator and candidate for governor, Jack Latvala, speaks during the Florida AP Legislative Day at the Florida Capitol, Thursday, Nov 2, 2017. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The president of the Florida Senate is ordering an investigation after a report said that a powerful Republican harassed and groped women.

Senate President Joe Negron on Friday called the allegations against Sen. Jack Latvala “atrocious and horrendous.” Latvala, a Clearwater Republican, is the current Senate budget chairman and is a GOP candidate for governor.

Politico Florida reported that six women said that Latvala had either touched them inappropriately or made demeaning comments about their bodies. The news outlet said the women did not want to be identified for fear of losing their jobs. The women included both legislative staff and lobbyists.

Negron ordered the general counsel to investigate with the human resources office of the Florida Legislature.

Just one day earlier Latvala warned there was “organized effort” to “tear down” the Senate ahead of the 2018 session.