Jack Latvala comments
When asked to respond to Laura McLeod's story, former Sen. Jack Latvala sent this in a text message to the Times/Herald:
"This story is a rehash of material already reported at the time of release of the Special Master's report.
"I had a 20 year plus relationship w Ms McLeod that ended almost exactly two years ago. The majority of that time I was single. The fact that it happened also for a short period while I was married represents a weakness of mine which I am currently addressing. I have apologized to my wife and family and hope to have their forgiveness.
"It did not affect my service to the people of Florida in any way and I understand that Ms. McLeod acknowledged that she never felt any pressure on legislative issues, contrary to the implications of the Special Master's report. In spite of Senate Rule 1.43(b) he introduced this issue in his report on a different complaint without any notification to me or giving me any opportunity to defend myself. I reiterate today that I did not do what was charged in the original Rules complaint and but for this last minute additional charge I would still be fighting that issue in the Senate today.
"I loved my service in the Florida Senate. I think I was good at my job and did much good for the State of Florida. By resigning I paid a heavy price for my weakness. I apologize again to my constituents and friends. I guess it is for the people of Florida to decide if the punishment fits my poor judgment."