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House Speaker Corcoran: Latvala Heading Toward 'Expulsion'

House Speaker Richard Corcoran appeared on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program Wednesday (12/6/17) to discuss sexual harassment in the Florida Capitol and hurricane recovery.
C-SPAN/Washington Journal

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says he believes embattled Sen. Jack Latvala is heading toward expulsion from the chamber. Latvala is facing multiple accusations of sexual harassment.

From the start Latvala, R-Clearwater, has vowed to fight back against the claims he sexually harassed several women including Senate aid Rachel Perrin Rodgers who has filed a claim against him. Speaking to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal Wednesday, House Speaker Richard Corcoran says Latvala is heading toward being expelled from the chamber and represents what he calls an entitlement mentality.

“I think elected officials no longer recognize that what they’re doing is serving the people, it’s a great honor, it’s not their office, it’s just a title they occupy for a moment in time and I think we’ve gone past that," he said.

It would take 26 members of the Senate voting in favor to kick Latvala out.

Six women, including Rodgers have accused him of sexual harassment. He maintains his innocence and is pushing back on the latest charge from  Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, who, in a rules claim, says Latvala’s public statements about his accusers amount to intimidation. Latvala says making her claim public before it’s reviewed puts Book in violation of Senate rules.

Latvala could be the second senator to leave the chamber after allegations of harassment. Democratic Senator Jeff Clemens stepped down after Politico Florida reported he had an affair with a lobbyist. Earlier this week, Public Service Commission appointee and former state Rep. Ritch Workman stepped aside after Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, accused him of sexually harassing her at a charity event last year, according to the News Press.

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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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