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LAWMAKER'S POST-ARREST COMMENTS 'DISTURBING'

Rep. Bob Allen's post-arrest comments, including a recorded statement that he felt intimidated by black undercover officers, are "disturbing," Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio said Wednesday.

A police report also said Allen, R-Merritt Island, asked if his position as a legislator would "help" after he was charged with offering an undercover officer $20 to perform oral sex July 11 at a Titusville park.

Allen, 48, is charged with misdemeanor solicitation for prostitution. He has denied the charge.

"The recent release of Rep. Bob Allen's post-arrest statements injects a new and very disturbing element to an already troubling incident," said Rubio, R-West Miami.

Rubio said the House will continue gathering information but reserve any action until it has all the facts.

The Orlando-based Florida Civil Rights Association has called for Allen, also a co-chairman of Republican presidential candidate John McCain's Florida campaign, to resign from the Legislature because his comments to Titusville police were "racially insensitive."

An audiotape indicates he told Assistant Police Chief John Lau that he felt intimidated by a "stocky black guy" in the park's restroom and thought the man, an undercover officer, and other "stocky black guys" were going to rob him.

Allen told Lau the officer first mentioned oral sex for money and that he simply went along with discussing the transaction to avoid becoming a "statistic."

Police Cpl. Erich Barrett wrote in a supplemental report that when Allen was being placed in his cruiser at the park, the lawmaker asked, "I don't suppose it would help if I said I was a state legislator, would it?" Barrett wrote that he told him "No."

Defense lawyer Greg Eisenmenger denied Allen tried to use his position to get himself out of the charge. He said Allen is innocent because police reports show the officer initiated the alleged solicitation.

"It's totally improper for a police officer to suggest payment for a sex act," Eisenmenger said.

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