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Gibson, Bondi Weigh In On Legislative Sex Scandals

Florida's capitol complex, as seen from above (undated photo)

Florida's Attorney General and it's next Senate Minority leader are weighing in on the sex scandals that have rocked the state capitol in recent days. Both women are adding their voices to a growing chorus of concern about the behavior of lawmakers and lobbyists and the culture of the legislature.

Florida’s capitol is under a cloud after a powerful state senator was accused of sexual harassment and a top Democrat resigned over an affair. He stepped down after Politico Florida reported he was involved with a lobbyist. Democratic Senator Audrey Gibson will replace Jeff Clemens as minority leader in 2018 and says despite the controversies, lawmakers still have a job to do.

“Obviously being supportive of those who have been wronged is important and it’s also important that we continue to do the people’s business, even in an environment where the accusations don’t seem to be stopping.”

Meanwhile Attorney General Pam Bondi told reporters Tuesday that the anonymous women who have accused Clearwater Republican Senator Jack Latvala of sexual harassment should come forward and tell their stories. The Senator has denied wrongdoing, hired an attorney to represent him in an independent probe, and accused Politico Florida which broke the story, of being “fake news”.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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