SSN on Facebook
SSN on Twitter
SSN on YouTube
RSS Feed

1 Comment

Latvala Special Master's Report: Full Text Reproduced

December 20, 2017 - 6:00am
Ronald V. Swanson and the Florida Senate Chamber
Ronald V. Swanson and the Florida Senate Chamber
Because the special master's "Report and Recommendation to the Florida Senate" was too large to add as an attachment to the Latvala news story on this page, Sunshine State News has copied and pasted it here in text form so readers can make their own interpretations:
Special Master
Ronald V Swanson
P.O. Box 14079
Tallahassee, Florida 32317
I. Complaint Overview
II. Appointment of Special Master
III. Notice
IV. Special Master Investigation
V. Findings of Fact
i. Background
ii. Verbal/Non-Verbal Incidents
iii. February 17, 2015 Incident
iv. 2016-2017 Legislative Sessions
v. Elevator 13
vi. A ril 18,2017
vii. Evidence of Complainant s Past Interactions Concerning Respondent
viii. Similar Fact Evidence
VI. Analysis of Senate Rule 1.35
VII. Probable Cause Standard
VIII. Probable Cause Determination
IX. Recommendations
X. Index to Exhibits
XL Index to Testimony
XII. Index to Additional Evidence
By sworn complaint dated November 5, 2017, the Florida Senate Rules Chair was
advised by Complainant, Rachel Perrin Rogers, of alleged inappropriate conduct by
Respondent, Senator Jack Latvala, in violation of Florida Senate Rule 1.35. [Ex. A]
Specifically, the sworn complaint alleges that Senator Latvala engaged in inappropriate
acts toward Ms. Rogers and comments about Ms. Rogers s body during the 2013 and
2014 Legislative Sessions. The alleged 2013 and 2014 acts did not involve physical
contact. Ms. Rogers also asserts that in February of 2015, Senator Latvala rubbed her leg
while she was sitting alone at a bar in the Governors Club Lounge, Tallahassee, Florida.
Ms. Rogers states this incident, along with unrelated personal reasons, led to submission
of her resignation. Additionally, Ms. Rogers alleges Senator Latvala hugged her in an
unwelcome manner at least 4 times during the 2016 and 2017 Legislative Sessions,
assaulted her inside Elevator 13 during the fall of 2017, and touched another female’s
breast, in her presence, in April of 2017.
On November 16, 2017, Pursuant to Florida Senate Rule 1.43(l)(b), The
Etaorable Ronald V. Swanson, a retired Judge, who last served on the State of Florida’s
First District Court of Appeal, was appointed Special Master to conduct an investigation
into allegations contained within the sworn complaint. In addition, the Special Master
was tasked with giving reasonable notice to the Respondent, and granting Respondent an
opportunity to be heard in accordance with Senate Rule 1.43(l)(b). The Special Master
was to submit a Report and Recommendation to the State of Florida Senate Rules Chair,
as soon as practicable after the close of the investigation.
Pursuant to Senate Rule 1.43(l)(b), Respondent was provided oral notice of the
Special Master investigation on November 16, 2017, followed by written notice on
November 19, 2017. [Ex. B] Respondent was given a redacted copy of the sworn
complaint on November 16, 2017, was allowed to review the sworn complaint (with
Complainant’s name redacted) on November 17, 2017, and was orally provided the name
of Complainant (at the direction of Counsel for the Florida Senate) on November 17,
2017. Respondent’s counsel executed written agreements on his behalf to maintain the
confidentiality of the swo complaint unless and until disclosure was permitted by
Senate Rule and Florida law. [Ex. C] On December 6, 2017, Senator Latvala was given
Page 1 of 33
notice of a final opportunity to present evidence to the Special Master [Ex. D] of which
he availed himself on December 7, 2017. [Latvala II]
Immediately after the Special Master s appointment, this investigation, as
contemplated by Rule 1.43 of the Florida Senate Rules, began. The purpose of the
investigation was to determine if there was probable cause to believe conduct by Senator
Latvala, as alleged in the swo complaint, violated Florida Senate Rule 1.35. Senate
Rule 1.35 states:
"Every Senator shall conduct himself or herself to justify the confidence
placed in him or her by the people and, by personal example and
admonition to colleagues, shall maintain the integrity and responsibility of
his or her office."
Complainant’s sworn statement was taken on November 17, 2017, and again on
December 1, 2017. Senator Latvala voluntarily appeared before the Special Master on
November 29, 2017, and December 7, 2017, and provided testimony. [Latvala I & II]
Additional witnesses provided sworn and unsworn statements, either voluntarily or
pursuant to subpoena. All testimony has been transcribed and is listed in the Index to
Additionally, locations relevant to this inquiry were visited. Photographs were
taken and documentary evidence collected. Documents submitted by counsel for
Respondent and Complainant were reviewed. Material evidence is discussed herein and
included in the Index to Exhibits. Additional evidence considered but not cited in this
report is listed in the Index to Additional Evidence.
1. On November 5, 2017, Ms. Rogers filed a swo complaint of sexual
harassment against Florida State Senator Jack Latvala. The sworn complaint alleges
Senator Latvala violated Rule 1.49 of the Administrative Policies and Procedures (of the
Florida Senate) and Rule 1.35 of the Senate Rules. [Exhibit A]
2. Ms. Rogers is a citizen of the State of Florida over the age of eighteen, and
female. At all times discussed in the sworn complaint, Ms. Rogers was an employee of
the Florida State Senate. [Rogers I p. 8; Rogers Aff. 1]
Page 2 of 33
3. Senator Latvala represents District 16 in the Florida Senate. District 16
presently consists of parts of Pasco and Pinellas Counties. [Latvala Ip. 16] Senator
Latvala has served continuously in the Florida Senate since 2010. Previously, he served
as a Florida Senator from 1994 through 2002. [Latvala Ip. 8-10] Until recently, Senator
Latvala served as Chair of the Appropriations Committee. [Latvala Ip. 10]
4. Senator Latvala5s date of birth is November 3, 1951. He is male. [Latvala I
5. Ms. Rogers began employment with the State of Florida in the year 2000.
[Rogers I p. 9].
6. Ms. Rogers first met Senator Latvala in 2010, when he came back55 to the
Florida Senate. She knows him personally and has worked with him professionally since
that time. [Rogers Ip. 13] When Ms. Rogers first met Senator Latvala, she was working
as Senator Paula Dockery s Senior or Chief Legislative Assistant. [Rogers Ip. 14]
7. At the time of her November 17, 2017, sworn testimony, Ms. Rogers
worked in the Florida State Senate Office Building as Chief Legislative Assistant and
Communication Director for the Florida State Senate Majority Leader, Wilton Simpson.
[Rogers I p. 9-10] Ms. Rogers first began working for Senator Simpson in November,
2012. [Rogers Ip. 10]
8. From 2010 forward, Ms. Rogers had occasional contact with Senator
Latvala, both professionally and in social situations. [Rogers I p. 14]
9. Ms. Rogers testified that during the 2013 and 2014 Legislative Sessions,
Senator Latvala engaged in inappropriate verbal and non-verbal behavior towards her.
[Rogers Ip. 15-16]
10. According to Ms. Rogers, such conduct progressed after the 2013 and 2014
Legislative Session to unwanted physical contact, culminating in what she described as
an assault on Elevator 13 during the week of October 9, 2017, at the Florida State
Capitol. [Ex. A17; Ex. E]
Verbal/Non- Verbal Incidents
11. In her sworn complaint, Ms. Rogers states:
Over the last four years, I have experienced multiple occurrences of
sexual harassment in the Capitol building and local dining
establishments by Jack Latvala. Some incidents during the
Page 3 of 33
legislative sessions of 2013 and 2014 were verbal in nature. Senator
Latvala made unwelcome and unwanted comments about my
clothing, my breasts, and my legs. If I had to approach him about a
bill or an issue on behalf of my boss, he would stare at my chest and
look me up and down without giving any indication if he was
listening to the public policy issue I was there to discuss. On one
occasion, I responded to his comments about my body and told him
if he continued to comment on my physical appearance, I would
respond by calling him what he is: an obese, disgusting and dirty old
man. My reply, intended to discourage him, instead had the opposite
effect. He stopped making verbal comments and on at least six
occasions since that time, subjected me to unwanted physical
[Ex. A 4]
12. On November 17, 2017, Ms. Rogers testified to three specific incidents
during the 2013 and 2014 Legislative Sessions, when Senator Latvala made unwanted
and inappropriate comments, sounds, or gestures towards her. She also testified ...if I
had to talk with him 100 times those two years, probably at least 30 of those times he
made me feel uncomfortable with either the way he was looking at me or he made
comments about my appearance, what I was wearing, that I was attractive. [Rogers I p.
20-22] Ms. Rogers testified it was part of her job, as an employee of the Florida Senate
and on behalf of her Supervisor, Senator Wilton Simpson, to interact with Senator
Latvala. [Rogers I p. 21] The Special Master finds that it was part of Ms. Rogers5 duties
to interact with Senator Latvala. Because Ms. Rogers was an employee of the Florida
State Senate and Senator Latvala was an elected Florida State Senator, there is a disparity
in power and authority between Ms. Rogers and Senator Latvala.
13. Ms. Rogers described three incidents (in order of recall) as follows:
A. Incident 1: While working at the Senate Office Building in 2013,
Ms. Rogers went “to lobby Senator Latvala on behalf of one of Senator Simpson s
bills.... [Rogers Ip. 17-19] She found him in a kitchen area of the fourth floor of
the Senate Office Building. No one else was present. She was there talking to him
about a public policy issue, and Senator Latvala “was looking [her] up and down
and it was clear he wasn’t listening. Senator Latvala made a growling sound like
“MMMM as he looked her up and down. [Rogers Ip. 18-19]
Page 4 of33
B. Incident 2: While at Clydes & Costello s, a bar within a short walk
from the Florida State Capital Building located on Adam’s Street, Ms. Rogers
approached a table at which Senator Latvala was sitting to speak to someone at the
table, and Senator Latvala said something to Ms. Rogers, to the effect of, have
you lost weight and you’re “looking really hot. [Rogers I p. 22-29] Ms. Rogers
made no response and left Clydes shortly thereafter. This event occurred in the
evening hours at some time during the 2013 - 2014 Legislative Sessions. The
Complainant could not recall who else might have been present at the time of this
incident. [Rogers I p. 22-29]
C. Incident 3: In 2014, sometime after work, Ms. Rogers encountered
Senator Latvala on the sidewalk outside of the Gove ors Club, a private club in
Tallahassee, Florida, within a short walk of the Florida State Capital Building.
[Rogers I p. 31-37] Senator Latvala, who appeared to be alone, was in the
immediate proximity of Complainant awaiting the Gove ors Club valet service
to bring his car. [Rogers I p. 33] Ms. Rogers was also alone. Ms. Rogers testified
the Senator made a sound like “MMMM, commented on her dress, and said
[she] was “looking very good. [Rogers I p. 35-36] According to Ms. Rogers,
these types of verbal comments (about her appearance, her body, loss of weight
or weight gained) had, at the time of this incident, happened “multiple times.
[Rogers I p. 35-36] “[He] looked [her] up and down. His eyes lingered. [Rogers
I p. 36] Ms. Rogers then told Senator Latvala “if [he] continued to speak to [her]
that way, she would very publicly tell him he was an obese, nasty, dirty old man.
[Rogers I p. 36] At that point, Senator Latvala left the Gove ors Club. Ms.
Rogers entered the Governors Club, “sat and ordered a drink. [Rogers I p. 37]
14. Senator Latvala testified that: “In the 16 or so years.... that he had been in
the Senate, he had received sexual harassment training. He also testified.. .“I think it just
kind of is common sense thing with me. [Latvala I p. 32] I “don’t want to say or do
anything that would make, you know, people of the opposite sex uncomfortable, certainly
don’t want to touch them against their will. [Latvala I p. 33]
15. Senator Latvala agreed that in a recent media interview he stated: “Do I let
my mouth overload my good sense now and then and maybe say, quote, you are looking
good today. You’ve lost weight. You’re looking hot today.’ Yeah. But I haven’t touched
anybody against their will. [Latvala I p. 33-34] The Senator further testified, in pertinent
part, “I think, in context, the ‘looking hot today’ would only apply to people I was very
comfortable with...I am, you know, 66 years old, and you and being here as long as I
am. I know who, you know, who gets offended and who appreciates, you know,
Page 5 of 33
comments like that. [Latvala I p. 34] Senator Latvala s statements to the media are
corroborative of the types of comments about which Ms. Rogers has complained. Since
Ms. Rogers complaints concerning unwanted comments on the part of Senator Latvala
pre-date his admissions to the media, fabrication on the part of Complainant is unlikely.
16. Senator Latvala testified I am not going to, you know, I am not going to
deny that I have been known to, you know, say things like that. [Latvala I p. 34]
However, Senator Latvala denied making comments like those discussed in paragraph 15
to Ms. Rogers during the 2013-2014 Legislative Sessions. [Latvala I p. 34] Senator
Latvala stated that based on his knowledge of her, she is someone who would be very
unpredictable with any kind of remarks like that.” [Latvala I p. 35]
17. Senator Latvala did recall, on at least one occasion during the 2013-2014
Legislative Sessions, talking to Ms. Rogers in the Senate Office Building, about work
related matters. He denied making any inappropriate comments, gestures, or looks toward
Ms. Rogers on that occasion. [Latvala I p. 40]
18. Senator Latvala acknowledged occasionally visiting Clydes during the
2013-2014 Legislative Sessions [Latvala I p. 41], but did not recall an incident where he
said to Ms. Rogers, “Have you lost weight? You look hot.” [Latvala I p. 42] He further
stated that “it doesn’t sound right... because I never sit in there. [Latvala I p. 42]
19. Senator Latvala acknowledged that he routinely uses Governors Club valet
parking; however, he did not recall making a “MMMM sound at Ms. Rogers, or saying
“you are looking good. [Latvala I p. 43-45] He denied the comment. [Latvala I p. 43]
20. The Special Master finds that Senator Latvala has made the kinds of
comments to women which are described by Ms. Rogers. Senator Latvala does not
recognize that these types of comments can be offensive. He testified, “I am not going to
deny that I have been known to, you know, say things like that. And I am you know, if
that falls in the reahn of harassment, then that’s that’s new to me.” [Latvala I p. 34] The
Special Master finds Ms. Rogers’ testimony concerning unwanted comments, as directed
toward her by Senator Latvala during the 2013 and 2014 Legislative Sessions credible.
21. Senator Latvala does not recall Ms. Rogers saying to him, on any occasion,
that “if you continue to say things like that to me, I am going to publicly call you an
obese, nasty old man.” [Latvala Tr. 43] He testified, “Absolutely not. I would remember
that, A; and B, I would address that conduct so that it never came up again. I am not an
idiot. [Latvala I p. 43-44]
Page 6 of 33
February 17, 2015 Incident
22. Ms. Rogers s sworn complaint asserts that in February of 2015, Senator
Latvala approached her as she sat alone at the Governors Club bar; draped one arm across
the back of her chair; rested his feet on the frame of her chair, and began to rub her leg.
This upset her and shortly thereafter she fled the bar. [Ex. A 5; Ex. F p. 9-10; Latvala I,
Ex. 2-3]
23. Ms. Rogers provided sworn testimony about the alleged February 17, 2015,
encounter. She said Senator Latvala sat down next to her at the bar, draped an arm across
the back of her chair, and then he put his hand down and just started rubbing the top of’
the “thigh area of her left leg. [Rogers II p. 53-54] He was rubbing his hand “back and
forth. [Rogers II p. 54]
24. Ms. Rogers testified she saw Caitlin Murray, a friend and associate, at the
Governors Club immediately after her encounter with Senator Latvala on the evening of
February 17, 2015. [Rogers II p. 56] Ms. Rogers was crying and told Ms. Murray “Jack
Latvala had upset her. [Rogers II p. 57]
25. Caitlin Murray’s sworn testimony was taken on November 30, 2017. Ms.
Murray was a member of the Governors Club in 2015. She knew Senator Latvala and
Ms. Rogers and had seen them both at the Governors Club during the 2015 Legislative
Session. Ms. Murray recalled a time when she entered the Governors Club lounge and
found her friend, Ms. Rogers, sitting at the bar alone, “very upset. Ms. Rogers was
“...extremely distraught. Crying. [Murray p. 28]
26. Ms. Murray testified that on this evening at the Governors Club bar, Ms.
Rogers relayed she was “ready to leave her job because she was so upset, and it was
people like Senator Jack Latvala. [Murray p. 31] According to Ms. Murray’s testimony,
Ms. Rogers said “I swear to God, he uses his body to block people and to block what he
is doing with his hands. [Murray p. 31] Ms. Murray’s testimony corroborates Ms.
Rogers’ account of the incident, in that Ms. Rogers uttered an emotionally charged
complaint about the touching, at or near the time of the incident.
27. On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, at 12:33 p.m., Ms. Rogers sent an email
to Senator Wilton Simpson, her immediate supervisor, which stated, in pertinent
part, "Yes, I am under personal stress and that isn’t your fault or problem.
But even without that I would not be okay continuing to work for the
Page 7 of33
Senate, it is a cesspool. I was trying to clear my head last night in
GC (Governors Club) and I couldn t even do that because of Jack
Latvala. I left there very upset.
It would be wrong for me to give you some sort of ultimatum so I
won’t do that. The only choice that leaves me with is resignation.
[Rogers III, Ex. 4] This e-mail sent from Ms. Rogers to Senator Simpson, the day after
the February 17, 2015, Governors Club incident, further corroborates Ms. Rogers
testimony about that encounter. [See also, Johnson p. 26-30]
28. Ms. Rogers resigned her position as Simpson’s Chief Legislative Aide in
February of 2015. [Ex. G p. 1; Rogers III, Ex. 4] At the request of Senator Simpson, Ms.
Rogers returned to full time employment in Senator Simpson’s Office effective
December 10, 2015. [Ex. G p. 2; Rogers III p. 33-34]
29. David E. Ramba, an attorney and member of the Governors Club, by
written declaration dated December 5, 2017, stated that on February 18, 2015 [sic], he
was at the Governors Club lounge and saw Ms. Rogers sitting alone at the bar, crying.
[Ex. H 6] Mr. Ramba also recalled seeing Senator Latvala who had been sitting in one
of his regular areas with a group of friends at the big couch to the left of the front door,
walk up to Ms. Rogers, speak to her for no more than two minutes, order himself a drink
and return to his friends. [Ex. H f 7] In a subsequent recorded unsworn interview, dated
December 6, 2017, Mr. Ramba stated that on the evening in question, he was within close
proximity to Ms. Rogers and Senator Latvala. Their backs were to him for about two
minutes and they were standing shoulder to shoulder. Mr. Ramba did not watch them
continuously and he could not see their hands. [Ramba p. 13. See also, Latvala II, Ex. 1]
30. Senator Latvala testified that he is a long-standing member of the
Governors Club. It is common for him to go to the Governors Club when in Tallahassee.
He did go there during the 2015 Legislative Session and he recalled an incident “where
(he) walked up to the bar to get a drink, and (Ms. Rogers) was sitting next to (him).
[Latvala I p. 69] Senator Latvala did not recall the specifics of any conversation with Ms.
Rogers from that event. Senator Latvala recalled Ms. Rogers was seated on a barstool.
[Latvala Ip. 72] He does not remember if he stood or sat next to her. [Latvala I p. 72]
He does not remember her crying. [Latvala Ip. 73] Senator Latvala further stated if she
had been crying, he would remember that. [Latvala I p. 72, 73]. The Special Master finds
Page 8 of 33
that this testimony by Senator Latvala rebuts any suggestion that he approached Ms.
Rogers on this occasion, to comfort her because she was upset.
31. Senator Latvala testified he did not touch Ms. Rogers at the bar. He
testified: I would have never done that. I have never I have never touched her.
[Latvala I p. 73].
32. Senator Latvala later testified: You know, have in eight seven years have I hugged her at some
point in time with a half hug that might have got my hand on her
side, I can t say that I haven’t. But when you talk about rubbing her
breast, or rubbing her rear end, I can say I have never done that.
[Latvala I p. 76]
33. Senator Latvala defined a half hug as the way you greet people socially in
the Capitol. “Not a bear hug. [Latvala I p. 76]
2016-2017 Legislative Sessions
34. Ms. Rogers testified that during the 2016 through 2017 Legislative
Sessions, Senator Latvala encountered her at the Governors Club near the women’s room
at the far back comer of the establishment, [See Ex. F p. 8-12], and touched her in an
unwelcome manner. She testified: He leaned in and sort of blocked my path and stopped me.... And he
reached around and squeezed....his hugs were never, like, a, you
know, front frontal arms around your back. He would put one arm
around and squeeze on the midsection and just very tight and
[with] his hand.
[Rogers II p. 68] Ms. Rogers further testified Senator Latvala “grabbed her midsection,
moved his hand upwards, and touched the underside of her breast. [Rogers II p. 69-70]
Senator Latvala had no recollection of the event and testified, “No, I wouldn’t have done
that. [Latvala I p. 76]
35. Ms. Rogers testified to another 2017 incident of unwanted physical contact
between herself and Senator Latvala at the Governors Club. She said that after work, she
walked to the Governors Club with her boss, Senator Wilton Simpson. Once at the
Governors Club, Ms. Rogers did not remain with Senator Simpson, as he was there to
Page 9 of 33
meet others. Ms. Rogers testified as she sat alone at the bar, Senator Latvala approached
her, talked with her briefly, and then reached around and did the side grab. [Rogers II
p. 78] She testified Senator Latvala touched her abdomen and midsection; he was
squeezing and he moved his hand to the underside of her breast. [Rogers II p. 79-80]
36. Senator Latvala testified he routinely frequented the Gove ors Club and on
occasion, he saw Ms. Rogers there during the 2016-2017 Legislative Sessions. [Latvala I
p. 69, 75]
37. Senator Latvala testified: “I have not touched [Ms. Rogers] inappropriately
on any occasion.” [Latvala II p. 8]
38. Ms. Rogers testified that during the 2017 Legislative Session there were
two instances of unwanted touching in the Senate Majority Office Members Lounge
within the Senate Office Building. [Rogers II p. 84]
39. The first incident memorably centered on donuts and occurred in 2017.
[Rogers II p. 87] Camille Johnson, a recent graduate of Florida State University, was
working within the office of the Florida Senate Majority Leader at the time of the
incident. She has worked in that office since February, 2017. [Johnson p. 7]
40. Ms. Johnson gave sworn testimony on November 21, 2017. She knows and
works with Ms. Rogers and can identify Senator Latvala. [Johnson p. 9, 16] Ms.
Johnson recalled three interactions with Senator Latvala in the Majority Leader s Office;
all concerned food. [Johnson p. 17]
41. Regarding one instance, Ms. Johnson testified: “It was just a time when we
didn’t have donuts. And he liked donuts, but I was never in charge of buying donuts for
the office. [Johnson p. 18] “I think I texted Rachel about it, just saying like he’s looking
for donuts again. [Johnson p. 19] Senator Gainer confirms Senator Latvala “loves
donuts. [Composite Ex. I, G. Gainer p. 10]
42. After Ms. Johnson contacted Ms. Rogers, “Rachel came in there and
clarified “we didn’t have donuts. [Johnson p. 21] Ms. Johnson recalls Ms. Rogers and
Senator Latvala being in the Member’s Lounge at that point but that she “probably
walked away... to evade the situation. [Johnson p. 22] Before walking away, Ms.
Johnson did not observe Senator Latvala touch Ms. Rogers or hear him make any
inappropriate comments. [Johnson p. 21] Ms. Johnson’s testimony corroborates that
Senator Latvala and Ms. Rogers were alone in the Member’s Lounge as Ms. Rogers
Page 10 of 33
43. Ms. Rogers testified about the donut incident. She was informed by the
receptionist, Camille Johnson, that Senator Latvala was very angry because we did not
have donuts, and she asked if I could go back and talk to him. [Rogers II p. 87] One
other witness confirmed that Senator Latvala can become upset if donuts are not
available. [Rogers III, Ex. 7]
44. In response to Ms. Johnson s request, Ms. Rogers went to the Member’s
Lounge, saw Senator Latvala and asked him, “Senator, what’s the problem? [Rogers II
p. 91] Ms. Rogers testified that at that point, no one else was in the room. After some
discussion about food menu options, Ms. Rogers testified that she said: “I’m very sorry
about the donut situation. We’ll see what we can do about that. [Rogers II p. 92] She
states that Senator Latvala responded: “Okay. Great. I appreciate that. I always
appreciate you. [Rogers II p. 92] She testified before he turned to go away, it “was less
of a grab than the previous times. But he just briefly squeezed on my love handle
section. [Rogers II p. 92-93]
45. During his sworn statement on November 29, 2017, Senator Latvala was
asked if he recalled an incident in 2017, where he went to the Member’s Lounge and
became upset because there were no donuts. While he testified he had no specific recall
of the event, Senator Latvala said it was possible such an event had taken place. [Latvala
Ip. 64-66]
46. When asked if he recalled being alone with and hugging or touching Ms.
Rogers in the Members Lounge at or near a time when there had been a discussion about
donuts, Senator Latvala testified: .. .1 find that just impossible to believe that that happened. I mean, I would
remember if I would have done it. I wouldn’t have hugged her at the end of
a conversation. I wouldn’t have hugged her period. I mean, I just, I don’t
hug Rachel. I haven’t ever hugged Rachel.
[Latvala I p.67-68]
47. Ms. Rogers also testified about a second 2017 incident in the Senate
Majority Leader’s personal office, within the Senate Majority Leader’s Office suite,
where she had an unwanted physical encounter with Senator Latvala. [Rogers II p. 95-99]
48. According to the testimony of Ms. Rogers, Senator Latvala “came into the
Majority Leader’s Office. Senator Simpson was not there... It was clear that Senator
Latvala was upset. [Rogers II p. 97]
Page 11 of 33
49. Ms. Rogers testified she attempted to calm him down because that s part
of (her) job. It’s something [she does] with members all the time. [Rogers II p. 98] After
a few minutes, Senator Latvala said I really appreciate your time... Thanks, he got up
to leave and, at that point, he reached around and grabbed my love handle. [Rogers II p.
50. Senator Latvala denied ever hugging any woman in a manner that was
intended to make them uncomfortable. [Latvala Ip. 85]
51. Senator Latvala was asked about the alleged 2017 incident in Senator
Simpson’s office when Senator Latvala was purportedly upset. Senator Latvala testified:
“I do not recall a specific incident like that, but my previous answer to you is that I have
not touched her inappropriately on any occasion. [Latvala II p. 8]
Elevator 13
52. In her sworn complaint, Ms. Rogers states that Senator Latvala assaulted
her in Elevator 13. [Ex. 1 7] Ms. Rogers reaffirmed that an assault occurred in Elevator
13 during her sworn testimony on December 1, 2017. [Rogers II p. 6] By sworn affidavit,
she subsequently has asserted this happened in the afternoon, on October 9,2017. [Ex. E]
53. Elevator 13 is a limited access elevator in the Florida Capitol Building.
Both Senator Latvala and Ms. Rogers have access to, and use, Elevator 13 [Latvala I p.
16-19; Rogers II p. 102; Ex. E; Ex. F p. 1-7]
54. Ms. Rogers originally testified the only time she uses Elevator 13 is “to go
to or from the parking garage. [Rogers II p. 10] Ms. Rogers first stated the alleged
assault took place on Elevator 13 either on the morning of October 11, 2017, or on the
9th or 10th of October, 2017. [Rogers II p. 7] Ms. Rogers testified that on October 9, 10,
or 11, when riding Elevator 13, her best recollection was that she was “either going to or
coming from the parking garage. [Rogers p. 11] Later, Ms. Rogers recalled she used
the elevator on October 9, 2017, in the afternoon, to return to her office after
accompanying Senator Simpson to a committee meeting, and the encounter occurred at
that time. [Ex. E]
55. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) maintains Event
Summary Reports which show, by date and time, if an individual’s identification card has
been used to access Elevator 13. [Ex. J]
56. It is not unc on for two or three people to enter and use Elevator 13 but
for only one person to use their identification card to gain access. [Rogers II p. 13] Event
Page 12 of 33
Summary Reports do not s how individuals on Elevator 13 who did not use an
identification card for access. Thus, Event Summary Reports for Elevator 13 are not
conclusive as to who was on Elevator 13 on any particular date or time.
57. According to Ms. Rogers, when she entered Elevator 13 immediately
before the alleged assault, Senator Latvala and three other individuals were already inside
the elevator. [Rogers II p. 103] Ms. Rogers could only identify Senator Latvala as one of
the people inside Elevator 13 at the time of this incident. [Rogers p. 103] She later
recalled that a lighter complexioned African American gentleman held the elevator
door open for her before the encounter. [Ex. E, Rogers Aff. 12]
58. Ms. Rogers testified that after she gained access to Elevator 13, Senator
Latvala “reached around and, I mean, really just lower than he had ever reached
before towards I mean, I don t know how else to say that, like, my vagina, my
midsection, my breast - and grabbed. [Rogers II p. 104, Ex. 4]
59. According to Ms. Rogers, Senator Latvala did this with his right hand
“because he was leaning on his left hand in the comer of the elevator.” [Rogers II p. 107]
60. According to Ms. Rogers “This time it was further in front and I know
because it was different from the other times because it was so painful. [Rogers II Tr.
108] Ms. Rogers testified she had a about five months before this elevator
incident and she was still having “sharp shooting pains sometimes.” Senator Latvala
touched the area, causing her pain. [Rogers p. 110]
61. Ms. Rogers testified: He squeezed and I yelled.
... he laughed. He chuckled. I went Whoa like that. And he
chuckled, and the elevator ride was over, and I got off.
[Rogers p. 108]
62. Ms. Rogers recalls that she got off Elevator 13 while Senator Latvala
remained on the elevator. [Rogers II p. 108] By affidavit, she states this incident
“occurred in the time it took to go from the second floor to the third floor where I got
off.” [Ex. E 13] Senator Latvala s office is on the fourth floor. [Latvala I p. 12-13] Site
Page 13 of 33
visits to Elevator 13 confirm that the elevator ride time between floors can be measured
in seconds.
63. At 9:19 a.m. on October 11, 2017, Ms. Rogers texted Senator Greg Steube
about her frustration with the Capital. [Rogers II, Ex. 3] Ms. Rogers testified the incident
with Senator Latvala on Elevator 13 occurred during the week of October 9, 2017, but
before she sent the text message to Senator Steube. [Rogers II p. 8] Neither Ms. Rogers
nor Senator Steube recalled further discussion between them concerning the October 11,
2017, text message. [Rogers II p. 123,124; Rogers II, Ex. 3; Steube p. 12]
64. Senator Wilton Simpson s sworn testimony was taken on November 21,
2017. Senator Simpson testified he recalled that Ms. Rogers reported to him that Senator
Latvala had groped her or touched her on an elevator during the first committee week
in October. [Simpson p. 23-25] Senator Simpson could not recall when Ms. Rogers told
him about the elevator incident. [Simpson p. 19] He thought “she probably mentioned it
to him sometime in October of 2017. [Simpson p. 25] Ms. Rogers’ statement to Senator
Simpson, close in time to the incident, is co roborative and rebuts an assertion of recent
65. On November 29, 2017, and again on December 7, 2017, Senator Latvala
testified he did not recall being on Elevator 13 with Ms. Rogers within the last 60 days.
[Latvala I p. 29; Latvala II p. 16]
66. Senator Latvala’s Capitol identification badge number is 60229. [Latvala I
p. 16] Ms. Roger’s Capitol identification badge number is 60409. [Rogers III p. 62]
67. On October 10, 2017, at 10:13:46, Card number 60229 (assigned to Jack
Latvala) was scanned for use of Elevator 13. [Ex. J p. 23] Ninety-seven (97) seconds
later, at 10:15:22, card number 60409 (assigned to Rachel Perrin Rogers) was scanned for
use of Elevator 13. [Ex. J p. 25] This denotes the two possibly rode on Elevator 13
together on October 10, 2017, and could rebut Senator Latvala’s statement that he did not
ride with Ms. Rogers on Elevator 13 within the last 60 days. However, Ms. Rogers now
believes the encounter took place on the afternoon of October 9, 2017. There is no other
card reader data available for Elevator 13 for October 9, 2017, thru October 11, 2017,
that puts Ms. Rogers and Senator Latvala on Elevator 13 at or near the same time. This is
not dispositive. On any given day, numerous people ride Elevator 13 without swiping the
elevator card reader, as noted in paragraph 56.
68. Ms. Rogers now states the incident on Elevator 13 happened on October 9,
2017, shortly after accompanying Senator Simpson to a 3:30 p.m. Education Committee
Page 14 of 33
meeting. Ms. Rogers states she got on Elevator 13 on the second floor and rode to the
third floor. [Ex. E p. 13, Rogers Aff. % 13] It was during this ride that the alleged assault
69. In her affidavit, Ms. Rogers states:
Previously, when speaking with the Special Master, I could not
immediately recall why I was on Elevator 13 or what time. Since my
interview, I remember that I was heading back to my office on the
third floor of the Senate office building after walking Senator
Simpson to his committee meeting.
I walked Senator Simpson to his 3:30 p.m. Education Committee
meeting.... While we were walking over, I sent an email at 3:17 p.m.
to the Committee members with a graphic they could use after
voting on a priority bill that day.
[Ex. E p. 2, Rogers Aff. 9, 11]
70. Senator Simpson is a member of the Florida Senate Committee on
Education. On October 9, 2017, that committee met in room 412 of the Knott Building at
the Capitol. Senator Simpson was in attendance when the meeting was called to Order at
3:30:24 p.m. [Ex. K; Ex. E p. 5-6]
71. Exhibit K shows that Senator Simpson is present in the Knott building
Committee meeting room at least by 3:24:56 on October 9, 2017. Ms. Rogers does not
appear on that video. [Ex. K]
72. On October 9, 2017, the Florida Senate Committee on Environmental
Preservation and Conservation met at 1:00 p.m. in room 37, which is located in the lower
level of the Senate Office Building. The meeting adjourned at or near 3:00 p.m. [Ex. L]
Senator Latvala is a member of the Environmental Preservation and Conservation
Committee and was present when the meeting began. [Ex. L; Ex. N] He is not visible at
the time the meeting adjou ed. [Ex. L]
73. On October 9, 2017, the Florida Senate Committee on Commerce and
Tourism was called to order at 3:33:39 p.m. in room 110 of the Florida Senate Office
Building. [Ex. M; Ex. E p. 7] Senator Latvala was in attendance. [Ex. E p. 7-8] He first
Page 15 of 33
appears in video recording of that committee meeting at approximately 3:29:17 p.m. [Ex.
74. It is a finding of fact t at Senator Latvala was at the Capitol but not in
committee meetings at or near the time Ms. Rogers alleges she was assaulted by Senator
Latvala in Elevator 13, on October 9, 2017. Event Summary Reports for October 9, 2017,
between 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. do not show either Senator Latvala or Ms. Rogers using
their identification cards on Elevator 13. [Ex. J]
75. Senator Latvala was between committee meetings at or near 3:00 p.m. until
3:29:17 p.m. on October 9, 2017. Nothing appeared on Senator Latvala5s work calendar
for that time. [Ex. N] The window of time for the assault to have occurred is
approximately 10 minutes, that time being shortly after the 3:17 p.m. e-mail sent by Ms.
Rogers but before Senator Lat ala5s 3:29 p.m. appearance at the Commerce and Tourism
Committee meeting. No available evidence excludes this window of time as the time of
an alleged assault on Elevator 13. Several witnesses whose card reader data indicated that
they accessed Elevator 13 during this 10 minute window of time were interviewed. None
recalled the incident. [Hanson, Swindle, Welbom, Delgadillo]
April 18, 2017
76. Ms. Rogers5 sworn complaint describes an encounter on April 18, 2017,
during which Senator Latvala groped a female lobbyist in her presence, in the Senate
Majority Leader s Office. [Ex. A If 8] Ms. Rogers testified that on this date, she and three
lobbyists, , , and Teye Reeves, were in Senator Simpson’s personal office at approximately 4:00-5:00 p.m. [Rogers II p. 125, 127]
77. Ms. Rogers testified that Senator Latvala came into the office and sat on a
couch in Senator Simpson’s office next to Ms. [Rogers II p. 125] Senator
Simpson was present for a short time but abruptly left after receiving a telephone call.
[Rogers II p. 126] Ms. Rogers testified Senator Simpson asked her to keep everyone
occupied until he could get back because he needed to meet with Senator Latvala.
[Rogers p. 126]
78. Ms. Rogers testified that she, Senator Latvala, Ms. Ms.
and Ms. Reeves remained inside Senator Simpson’s personal office for at least 40
minutes. [Rogers II p. 126] Ms. Rogers testified Senator Latvala appeared intoxicated
when he arrived, although he did not smell of alcohol. [Rogers II p. 127, 129] Ms. Rogers
testified Senator Latvala was drinking alcohol, specifically Grey Goose Vodka, in the
room. Ms. Rogers testified that it was not uncommon for legislators, at certain times of
Page 16 of 33
the day, particularly later in the afternoon, to have drinks in the office space. Alcohol is
kept in the office suite. [Rogers II p. 128] Ms. Rogers may have poured a drink for
Senator Latvala. She recalls pouring at least two drinks for women in the room. [Rogers
II p. 129] Ms. Rogers testified she was not drinking on that occasion and was not
intoxicated. [Rogers II p. 129]
79. Ms. Rogers testified Senator Latvala was sitting on the far end of the couch
in Senator Simpson s personal office and Ms. was sitting in the middle of the
couch. [Rogers II p. 130] Ms. Rogers testified she saw Senator Latvala rubbing the side
of Ms. breast with his hand, and at one point, put his hand inside her
clothing. [Rogers II p. 130] Observing this made her feel upset and angry. [Rogers II p.
130] Ms. Rogers testified Ms. looked distressed by Senator Latvala’s conduct
and pushed his hand away several times. [Rogers II p. 133-134] Ms. Rogers did not say
anything at the time and does not know if the others observed what she saw. [Rogers II p.
130-131] Ms. Rogers testified she did not discuss the incident with Ms. Reeves, Ms.
or Ms. [Rogers p. 131] Ms. Rogers believes the first person she ever
told about the incident was her attorney or a reporter from Politico. [Rogers II p. 131]
80. Ms. Rogers testified she has seen Senator Latvala touch other women in the
past but was unable to tell whether these past events were consensual or not, in the way
she could tell that it was not consensual when she saw Senator Latvala touch Ms.
on April 18, 2017. [Rogers p. 134]
81. Teye Reeves’ sworn statement was taken on November 28, 2017. Ms.
Reeves recalled being in Senator Simpson’s office with Senator Latvala, Ms. , Ms.
, and Ms. Rogers, possibly in April, 2017. [Reeves p. 13] Ms. Reeves recalled
Senator Simpson was present at some point. [Reeves p. 14-15] Senator Latvala arrived
after her and sat on the couch. [Reeves p. 15] Ms. Reeves testified they remained in
Senator Simpson’s office for an hour to an hour and a half, that alcohol was served, and
that she had what she best recalls as a vodka and soda while in the office. [Reeves p. 17,
19] Ms. Reeves had no opinion as to whether anyone in the room was intoxicated.
[Reeves p. 19-20] Ms. Reeves did not recall her location within the room, but testified
she was in a position to observe Senator Latvala and Ms. . She did not observe
any physical contact between anyone in the room. [Reeves p. 21-22] Ms. Reeves testified
she did not see Senator Latvala touch Ms. she has never seen him touch Ms.
and that Senator Latvala has never touched her. [Reeves p. 22]
82. ’s sworn statement was taken on November 29, 2017. Ms.
recalled the April 18, 2017, incident because that was Florida Keys Day. [
Page 17 of 33
p. 15-16, 18] Ms. recalled they were in Senator Simpson s personal office
between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. for 30 minutes to an hour. [ p. 17, 24] Ms.
recalled she left Senator Simpson’s office with Senator Latvala and Ms.
to attend Florida Keys Day. [ p. 19, 25; Exhibit O] Ms. did not
recall drinking that day in the office [ p. 17], and did not believe that Senator
Latvala was intoxicated. [ P-21] Ms. did not recall Senator Latvala
physically touching her or anyone else in the room. [ p. 28-30. But see, Johnson p.
26-30 stating Ms. told Ms. Johnson that Senator Latvala touched her breast.] Ms.
testified she has never seen Senator Latvala put his hand down Ms.
blouse. [ p. 38]
83. swo testimony was taken on November 28, 2017.
Ms. recalled being in Senator Simpson’s personal office with Ms. Ms.
Reeves, Ms. Rogers and Senator Latvala during session in 2017. [ p. 11-12]
Ms. denies Senator Latvala touched her or anyone else during that encounter.
[ p. 20-21] Ms. testified that Senator Latvala has behaved
respectfully toward her on every occasion. [ p. 23]
84. Senator Latvala testified he recalled being in Senator Simpson’s office in
April 2017, with Ms. . Ms. Ms. Reeves, Ms. Rogers and Senator
Simpson. [Latvala p. I 47-48] Senator Latvala testified he was present in the office for 5
or 10 minutes. [Latvala I p. 51] He has consumed alcohol inside the Capitol building at
the end of a day on occasion [Latvala I p. 54], but initially denied ever drinking inside
Senator Simpson’s personal office. [Latvala I p. 55-57] Senator Latvala did not recall
sitting on the couch and testified he only recalled standing. [Latvala I p. 56] Senator
Latvala testified that while in the office space at the time discussed, he could have
hugged somebody when they came in, you know, the way I hug those girls when they
come to my office, yes, I could have done that, but not what was described in the
complaint. [Latvala I p. 58] Senator Latvala denied trying to touch anyone’s breast on
that occasion. [Latvala I p. 58] Senator Latvala’s testimony that he was present for only 5
or 10 minutes is not consistent with the testimony of other witnesses present.
Evidence of Complainant s Past Interactions Concerning Respondent
85. Text messages between Senator Latvala and Ms. Rogers [Ex. P; Ex. Q;
Rogers II, Ex. 1-2] suggest an amiable relationship between the two. Ms. Rogers
messaged Senator Latvala in November of 2015, that she wanted to give him “a big hug,
and also sent him two heart-shaped emojis. [Rogers III p. 37, 42, Ex. 1 p. 2, 12, Ex. 2 p.
9; Ex. P] She also gave him a $100.00 campaign contribution on April 1, 2016. [Ex. R p.
Page 18 of 33
4] Ms. Rogers testified it was common for her to give campaign contributions to
candidates if she attended their campaign fundraising events. [Rogers III p. 25]
86. When asked about the big hug and emoji texts, and the campaign
contribution, Ms. Rogers testified that because of her position in the Senate Majority
Leader s Office, it was important for her to maintain cordial relationships with all of the
Senators. [Rogers I p. 21, Rogers II p. 90, 98] In addition, when discussing her decision
to return to full time employment with the Senate in early December, 2015, Rogers
testified: From what I know about the years that I have spent around Senator Latvala,
he views women in a few different ways. There are women who he helps
and respects, but doesn’t bother doesn’t bother in the way that he’s
bothered other women, in the way that he’s touched or said things. I
thought that if I sent this [text message referencing “a big hug ], I thought I
could appeal to him emotionally, and then I would be safer when I came
back. I thought that I could and in an effort to do that, I also know that
most of the time all of the times that I have had problems with him, my
hair has been blonde, or lighter, and so at this time, I dyed my hair dark
before I went back to the Senate.
[Rogers III p. 34]
87. Senator Latvala’s atto eys provided text messages purportedly between
Senate staffer Lillian Tysinger and Ms. Rogers. [Ex. S] The text messages were casual
and friendly. [Ex. T; Rogers III, Ex. 3] According to his atto eys, “Senator Latvala’s
position is that some of these text messages between Ms. Rogers and Ms. Tysinger
suggest that Ms. Rogers had a “risque or “desirous dream about Senator Latvala, and
that Ms. Rogers’ believed working for Senator Latvala would be a positive experience for
Ms. Tysinger. [Ex. S p. 2, 3]
88. Ms. Rogers testified she did not recognize the text messages purportedly
between herself and Ms. Tysinger, and was certain she did not send them. [Rogers III p.
55-60, Ex. 3] Statements by Ms. Tysinger, as well as forensic evidence submitted by
Senator Latvala’s counsel, contradict Ms. Rogers’ testimony that she did not send the
messages. [Ex. U] The Special Master finds this contradiction to be troublesome but not
dispositive to a probable cause determination.
89. Ms. Charla Jan Gainer, the wife of Florida State Senator George Gainer,
voluntarily appeared and testified before the Special Master on November 29, 2017. She
Page 19 of 33
testified she ad lunch with Ms. Rogers on October 12, 2017, at the Governors Club in
Tallahassee, which would have been after, but during the same week as, the purported
Elevator 13 incident. Mr. Gainer testified that while seated at lunch with Ms. Rogers,
Senator Latvala came by. [Ex. 1-1, J. Gainer p. 16]1 After a brief exchange of
pleasantries, Senator Latvala walked up the stairs to the dining room. Ms. Gainer
testified Ms. Rogers spontaneously said “he was going to make a great Governor.” Ms.
Gainer testified Ms. Rogers said this with a “smile on her face, with all sincerity in her
voice.” [Ex. 1-1, J. Gainer p. 21; See also, Ex. V, Declaration of Brad Drake]
90. Ms. Rogers also testified about the October 12, 2017, lunch with Ms.
Gainer. Ms. Rogers confirmed they had lunch on that day at the Governors Club.
[Rogers III 14-16, Ex. 6] She also confirmed that they briefly interacted with Senator
Latvala in the Governors Club dining room. Ms. Rogers denied saying Senator Latvala
would be a great Governor (or words to that effect) after he lef their table. [Rogers III p.
67] Ms. Rogers also testified that later, when she and Ms. Gainer left the Club and saw
Senator Latvala outside, (Rogers) took off. [Rogers III p. 23] Ms. Rogers said: “I
physically got away as fast as I could because, at this point, after everything that had
gone on, I had reached a breaking point, which led to all of this, but I walked off, and
[Ms. Gainer] had to run, and she caught up with me about a block-and-a-half later.”
[Rogers III p. 23] The Special Master finds that different perceptions of a luncheon
dialogue between two individuals is not uncommon, and is not determinative as to the
credibility of either person s testimony regarding what occurred.
Similar Fact Evidence
Senator Latvala provided the Special Master with numerous swo statements
attesting to his good character. Other alleged acts, or similar fact evidence, is not the
focus of the Special Master s inquiry. However, in view of Senator Latvala s submission
of witness statements attesting to his good character, positive behavior toward women,
and statements which tend to impeach the credibility of Ms. Rogers, similar facts to those
as alleged in the sworn complaint have been considered.
91. Counsel for Senator Latvala provided the Special Master with numerous
sworn statements from individuals who knew and had worked with the Senator. All were
supportive and characterized Senator Latvala as passionate about his work on behalf of
the people of the State of Florida. These witnesses assert they never observed Senator
1 Ms. Gainer knows Senator Latvala. Her husband, Florida Senator George Gainer, and
Senator Latvala have contributed to each other’s political campaigns. [Composite Ex. 1-2,
G. Gainer p. 22, 23]
Page 20 of 33
Latvala act in an inappropriate manner towards themselves or ot er women, and that such
conduct would be inconsistent with Senator Latvala5s character. [Ex. 1-1, G. Gainer p. 4-
9, 19-20; Ex. 1-3, A. Gainey p. 4-6; Ex. 1-4, K. Roger p. 4; Ex. 1-5, Aldikacti p. 10, 13-15;
Ex. 1-6, Audie p. 7-9; Ex. 1-7, Basham p. 5-10; Ex. 1-8, Collins p. 10-12; Ex. 1-9, Dudley
p. 5-9; Ex. I-10, Duncansonp. 6-8; Ex. 1-11, Henning p. 7-9; Ex. 1-12, Morthamp. 5; Ex.
1-13, Padgett p. 8-10; Ex. 1-14, Powers p. 5-6; Ex. 1-15, Rodin p. 6-7; Ex. 1-16, Stewart;
Ex. 1-17, Stiff p. 5, 8; Ex. 1-18, Timmins p. 4-14; Ex. 1-19, Wilson p. 5-9]
92. Lobbyist Carol Duncanson testified, in a sworn affidavit provided by
counsel for Senator Latvala, that she was friends with Senator Latvala, had known him
for a long time, and that he is one of the most loyal people that (she had) known in (her)
35 years in the Capital. The following was included in her testimony:
Question: Has...has he ever made any inappropriate advances towards
Answer: No. I mean, he s joked around with me, and I may have
responded flippantly because I never took anything he said as
anything other than a joke, but absolutely not, no.
He is outgoing. He is friendly. You know, I called him
huggy and touchy-feely in terms of hug and touch and what,
but I I I don’t know that that’s inappropriate, or that there
is anything criminal or wrong with that....
[Ex. 1-10, Duncansonp. 7, 10]
93. provided sworn testimony to the Special Master on December
6, 2017. Ms. ., a lobbyist who has worked with Senator Latvala, testified that in the
past, Senator Latvala made comments which made her feel uncomfortable, and touched
her waist in an unwelcome manner on three or four occasions. [ p. 23, 25-26, 31-
32]. Another lobbyist voluntarily provided an affidavit stating that two fellow lobbyists
warned her that Senator Latvala would be all over her and she should “try not to be
alone with him. [Ex. W, Moran Aff. See also, Johnson p. 30-32]
94. David Ramba (see paragraph 29), testified that Senator Latvala often makes
grunting or growling sounds. [Ramba p. 12] Another witness said that Senator Latvala
directs such sounds toward women. [ p. 56]
Page 21 of 33
95. is a Florida Senate employee who, prior to her recent
employment in the Office of , worked as a lobbyist. [ P-10]
She has known Senator Latvala since around 1995. [ p. 14] For a number of
years, Ms. had a close personal relationship with Senator Latvala that was, at
times, intimate. Ms. testified that when Senator Latvala became engaged to his
current wife, she thought the sexual nature of her relationship with Senator Latvala would
stop. [ p. 53] It did not. [ p. 23, 35, 55]
96. Ms. testified that between 2015 and 2017, Senator Latvala touched
and groped her in an unwelcome manner every time she went to his office, and that she
believed tolerating such behavior was part of her job as a lobbyist. [ p. 37, 41] If
she went to his office in the Capitol and the door closed, she pretty much [was] always
touched. [ p. 36] Ms. stated that Senator Latvala placed his hands up
her dress, touched the outside of her underwear at her vaginal area, her buttocks, and her
breast. [ p. 36]
She also recounted that a number of times he “would be very huggy” with her on
elevators in the Senate Office Building. [ p. 39-40; 65] She testified:
Question: When you said on the elevator he was “huggy,” describe
what you mean.
Answer: He puts his - - he hugs you very tight and he gets his hands
close to places you wouldn t want him to and...”
Question: Like your breast?
Answer: Yes.
[ p. 65] Ms. confirmed that Senator Latvala would place his
hands on a woman’s waist and move his hand up and down the side of her body.
[ p. 65] This testimony corroborates Ms. Rogers account of the Elevator 13
incident as well as her description of Senator Latvala touching her midsection on four
occasions during the 2016-2017 Legislative Sessions.
97. Ms. further testified that Senator Latvala expressly intimated to
her on multiple occasions, that if she engaged in sexual acts or allowed him to touch her
body in a sexual manner he would support particular legislative items for which she was
lobbying. [ p. 27, 29, 33-34, 37, 41-42] This testimony is supported by explicit
text messages purportedly sent from Senator Latvala to Ms. . [Ex. X] Ms.
tolerated the recent unwanted touching in Senator Latvala’s office between 2015
Page 22 of 33
and 2017. [ p. 42] Ms. testified: I felt it was something he felt entitled
to. [ . 42]
98. The most recent text message purportedly from Senator Latvala concerning
possible support for legislation in exchange for a sexual encounter was sent in February
of 2016. [Ex. X]
99. Ms. testified she finally left her work as a lobbyist [i]n large part
so [she] would never have to owe [Senator Latvala] anything.” [ . 66]
100. Ms. has met Ms. Rogers but does not know her well, f p.
11-12] Ms. s testimony is corroborative of allegations contained in Ms. Rogers
sworn complaint.
101. Ms. ’s testimony raises issues of public corruption and ethics
violations not within the scope of this report.
The Special Master is tasked with determining whether probable cause exists to
believe that Senator Latvala violated Senate Rule 1.35 governing legislative behavior.
Rule 1.35 states 44[e]very Senator shall conduct himself or herself to justify the
confidence placed in him or her by the people and, by personal example and admonition
to colleagues, shall maintain the integrity and responsibility of his or her office.” At issue
is the application of Senate Rule 1.35 to the allegations in the sworn complaint.
Article III, sections 2 and 4(a) of the Florida Constitution give the Florida State
Senate the power to determine and interpret its own rules of procedure. Borrowing from
rules of statutory construction, the plain meaning of Rule 1.35 was considered, because
44when language is unambiguous and conveys a clear meaning, it must be given
its plain and obvious meaning.” See e.g., Smith v. Smith, 224 So. 3d 740, 745 (Fla. 2017).
However, the meaning of Rule 1.35 is not plain or self-evident. The language of Rule
1.35 points to a community standard, set by the Florida State Senate, in determining what
conduct justifies or fails to justify the confidence placed in a Senator by the people, and
what conduct by a Senator fails to maintain the integrity and responsibility of his or her
Thus, in order to interpret Rule 1.35, the Special Master considered, as instructive,
language of the Florida Constitution, Florida statutory law, and other Senate Rules,
including Administrative Rule 1.49.
Page 23 of 33
The Florida Constitution makes clear that a public office is a public trust, and
that “the people shall have the right to secure and sustain that trust against abuse.” Article
II Section 8. Pursuant to the Oath of Office, set forth in Article II Section 5(b) of the
Florida Constitution, every public official for the State of Florida swears or affirms that
he or she “will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the
United States and of the State of Florida ... and will well and faithfully perform the
duties” of his or her office.
Florida Statute § 112.313(6), outlining the standards of conduct for public officials
and the prohibition against misuse of public position, states: “No public officer . . . shall
corruptly2 use or attempt to use his or her official position or any property or resource
which may be within his or her trust, or perform his or her official duties, to secure a
special privilege, benefit, or exemption for himself, herself, or others.” Sexual harassment
and attempts to obtain sexual favors from subordinates fall within the ambit of misuse of
public position. See generally, Garner . Florida Comm'n on Ethics, 415 So. 2d 67, 68
(Fla. 1st DCA 1982).
Florida Senate Administrative Policies and Procedures, Rule 1.49, entitled
“Workplace Harassment Prohibited,” is also instructive, though not determinative, in
interpreting Senate Rule 1.35 as applied to conduct alleged in the sworn complaint.
Administrative Rule 1.49 states:
It is the policy of the Senate that harassment toward any employee
based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or
marital status will not be tolerated. Because of the Senate's strong
disapproval of unlawful harassment related to their employment, all
Senators and employees must avoid conduct that could be seen as
prohibited harassment.
Prohibited harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates
or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of that
2 Corruptly means done with a wrongful intent and for the purpose of obtaining, or
compensating or receiving compensation for, any benefit resulting from some act or
omission of a public servant which is inconsistent with the proper performance of his or
her public duties. See Fla. Stat. § 112.312 (2014).
Page 24 of 33
person's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or
marital status. Harassment can also occur if conduct for these
reasons is directed toward a person's relatives, friends, or associates.
Pro ibited harassment does one or more of the following:
(1) Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile,
or offensive work environment.
(2) Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an
individual's work performance.
(3) Otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment
Examples of prohibited harassment include:
(1) Unwanted jokes or slurs with a sexual, racial, religious,
ethnic, or similar content.
(2) Display or distribution of sexually explicit pictures, posters,
or writings.
(3) Preferential treatment in return for sexual favors.
(4) Unwelcome remarks about a person's sexual anatomy, sexual
capabilities, ethnic characteristics, or physical disabilities.
(5) Unwanted physical contact (e.g., kissing, hugging, pinching,
patting, and caressing).
(6) Hazing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin,
age, disability, or marital status.
(7) Unwanted requests for dates or similar advances.
(8) Derogatory comments about a person's choice of religion or
religious beliefs.
Administrative Rule 1.49 specifically states that because of the Senate s strong
disapproval of unlawful harassment related to employment, “all Senators and employees
must avoid conduct that could be seen as prohibited harassment. (Emphasis added.) This
expressly denotes the Senate’s strong disapproval of sexual harassment in the work place,
and indicates that Rule 1.49 prohibits conduct that is less than actual, prohibited sexual
harassment, and includes any conduct that may be perceived by others as being
prohibited sexual harassment. Pursuant to Rule 1.49, verbal or physical conduct is
considered prohibited sexual harassment if it has the purpose or effect of creating an
Page 25 of 33
imtiinidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Examples of prohibited sexual
harassment may include unwelcome remarks and unwanted physical contact.
Under the plain language of Administrative Rule 1.49, a Senator s intent or
purpose is not determinative. The rule prohibits conduct which simply has the effect of
creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work enviromnent, or workplace perceived
by others as such. Black’s Law Dictionary defines effect as “[s mething produced by
an agent or cause; a result, outcome, or consequence. Black s Law Dictionary (10th ed.
The use of the terms “unwelcome or “unwanted in the example of prohibited
conduct, also suggests that the effect of the conduct on the recipient is the determining
factor in whether specific conduct can amount to prohibited harassment. In the Title VII
hostile work environment context, courts have generally defined “unwelcome conduct
as conduct an employee did not solicit or incite, and which the employee regarded as
undesirable or offensive.3 4 However, the Special Master finds that the relative positions of
authority between the individuals involved must be carefully considered when analyzing
the appropriateness of Senator Latvala’s alleged conduct or the significance of Ms.
Rogers’ alleged response to it.
Although federal Title VII hostile work environment case law and Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines are instructive, the Special
Master was not tasked with detennining whether the alleged conduct is actionable under
Title VII or any other statutory scheme. Administrative Rule 1.49 appears to prohibit
more than legally actionable hostile work enviromnent sexual harassment. Moreover,
Senate Rule 1.35 is much broader than Administrative Rule 1.49, and prohibits any
conduct which fails to maintain the integrity or responsibility of the office of the Florida
3 The phrase “purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work
environment tracks language used in both the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission guidelines on sexual harassment the Florida Administrative Code. (See 29
C.F.R. § 1604.11; Rule 60L-40.001, Fla. Admin. Code.)
4 See Henson v. City of Dundee, 682 F.2d 897, 903 (11th Cir. 1982); Meritor Sav. Bank,
FSB v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 68 (1986); 29 C.F.R. § 1604.11, Guidelines on
Discrimination Based on Sex.
Page 26 of 33
Probable cause exists if, based on the totality of circumstances, cautious persons
have a reasonable basis to believe that a violation occurred. Probable cause requires more
than mere suspicion. Probable cause requires a fair probability and depends on the totality
of the circumstances. See generally, Johnson v. State, 660 So. 2d 648, 654 (Fla. 1995);
State v. Griffin, 949 So. 2d 309, 313 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007); Fish . Dep't of Health, Bd. of
Dentistry, 825 So. 2d 421, 423 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002); Kasha . Dep t of Legislative
Affairs, 375 So. 2d 43, 44 (Fla 3d DCA 1979); Dahl v. Holley, 312 F.3d 1228, 1234 (11th
Cir. 2002).
The sworn complaint alleges multiple instances of comments or behavior by
Senator Latvala in violation of Rule 1.35. For the purpose of this probable cause
determination, the Special Master concludes that behavior, verbal statements and physical
touching which have the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work
environment violate Florida Senate Rule 1.35. Ultimately, Senator Latvala is an elected
Florida State Senator and his personal and professional conduct must be measured by the
admonition of all Florida State Senators, as contemplated by Florida Senate Rule 1.35.
The Special Master finds that, concerning incidents alleged in the sworn complaint
asserting that Senator Latvala directed conduct towards Complainant, there is probable
cause to believe the events occurred and that based on the totality of the circumstances,
they violated Rule 1.35. The evidence demonstrated a progression in conduct, over time,
from unwelcome comments and nonverbal behavior to unwelcome touching.
The Special Master s probable cause finding are as follows:
1. There is probable cause to believe that during the 2013 - 2014 Legislative
sessions, Senator Latvala engaged in inappropriate and unwanted verbal and
non-verbal behavior towards Ms. Rogers in violation of Senate Rule 1.35.
2. There is probable cause to believe that on or about February 17, 2015, at the
Governors Club, Tallahassee, Florida, Senator Latvala had inappropriate
physical contact with Ms. Rogers in violation of Senate Rule 1.35. 3
3. There is probable cause to believe that during the 2016 and 2017 legislative
sessions, Senator Jack Latvala had inappropriate and unwanted physical
Page 27 of 33
contact with Ms. Rogers on four delineated occasions, in violation of Senate
Rule 1.35.
4. There is probable cause to believe that during the week of October 9, 2017, on
Elevator 13 in the Florida State Capitol Building, Senator Latvala had
inappropriate and unwanted physical contact with Ms. Rogers in violation of
Senate Rule 1.35.
5. The sworn complaint specifically alleges, in paragraph 8 that on Tuesday,
April 18, 2017, the Complainant observed Senator Latvala place his hands
inside the blouse of a female lobbyist against her permission. Although Senator
Latvala testified he may have hugged the lobbyist during that encounter,
[Latvala I p. 58], the weight of evidence does not support a probable cause
finding that he touched a lobbyist s breast without permission. The female
lobbyist purportedly touched by Senator Latvala denied she had been touched.
Accordingly, there is not probable cause to believe that Senator Latvala’s
behavior on the April 18, 2017, date, as alleged in the Complaint, violated
Senate Rule 1.35.
Pursuant to his tasking, and as prescribed in Senate Rule 1.43(l)(b), the Special
Master makes the following advisory recommendations:
1. Sanctions: The Special Master recommends that, based on the probable cause
determination outlined above and pursuant to the procedure outlined in Senate
Rule 1.43(l)(b) and (2), the Senate sanction Senator Latvala for conduct in
violation of Senate Rule 1.35. The full range of available sanctions should be
2. Training The Special Master recommends increased and routine sexual
harassment training for all Senators and staff. This should include enhanced
training on what an elected official must do if a staff member reports sexual
harassment by another elected official, staff member or third-party. 3
3. Culture: Based on the totality of evidence, the Special Master recommends an
internal review of Senate culture. Interaction between Senators, Senate staff and
third-party lobbyists, both inside the Capitol and during off-site events and work
Page 28 of 33
related social encounters, should be examined. This may lead to the development
of additional guidelines or policy.
4. Referral: The allegations of quid pro quo conduct (physical contact or sexual
intimacy in exchange for support of legislative initiatives) made by a witness other
than Complainant, and seemingly confirmed in text messages from Respondent,
appear to violate ethics rules, and may violate laws prohibiting public corruption.5
The Special Master recommends these allegations be immediately referred to law
enforcement for further investigation. An internal investigation pursuant to Senate
Rules, referral to the Florida Commission on Ethics, and/or some other appropriate
mechanism of investigation of the alleged ethics violations is also recommended.
5 See e.g., Florida Statute §§ 838.015-16, 112.313(6). See also, Senate Rule 1.36.
Page 29 of 33
A. November 5, 2017 Swo Complaint
B. Special Master s November 19, 2017 letter to Respondent
C. Confidentiality Agreements
D. Special Masters December 6,2017 letter to Respondent
E. Affidavit of Rachel Rogers dated December 12, 2017 with related documentation
F. Composite site inspection photographs
G. Excerpts of Personnel file of Rachel P. Rogers
H. Affidavit of David Ramba dated December 5, 2017
I. Sworn Statements (Composite)
1. Sworn Statement of Jan Gainer taken on November 24,2017
2. Sworn Statement of George Gainer taken on November 24, 2017
3. Sworn Statement of Andrea Gainey taken on November 24, 2017
4. Sworn Statement of Kim Rogers taken on November 24, 2017
5. Sworn Statement of Drew Cotter Aldikacti taken on November 7,2017
6. Sworn Statement of Charlotte Audie taken on November 27, 2017
7. Sworn Statement of B onnie B asham taken on November 8,2017
8. Sworn Statement of Carlecia Collins taken on November 8, 2017
9. Sworn Statement of Alison Dudley taken on November 6,2017
10. Sworn Statement of Carole Duncanson taken on November 6,2017
11. Sworn Statement of Lisa Henning taken on November 6, 2017
12. Sworn Statement of Sandra Mortham taken on November 8,2017
13. Sworn Statement of Diana Padgett taken on November 7, 2017
14. Sworn Statement of Susan Powers taken on November 6, 2017
15. Sworn Statement of Wendy Bitner Rodin taken on November 6,2017
16. Sworn Statement of Nancy Stewart dated November 10,2017
17. Sworn Statement of Keily Stiff taken on November 6,2017
18. Sworn Statement of Missy Timmins taken on November 7, 2017
19. Sworn Statement of Jennifer Wilson taken on November 6, 2017
J. FDLE Event Summary Reports (composite)
K. Committee on Education meeting printout & video from October 9, 2017 meeting
L. Co mittee on Environmental Preservation & Conservation meeting printout &
video from October 9, 2017 meeting
M. Committee on Commerce and Tourism meeting printout & video from October 9,
2017 meeting
Page 30 of 33
N. Senator Latvala s calendar for October 9-11, 2017 with Certificate of Authenticity
O. 2017 Event Calendar
P. Text messages between Senator Latvala and Ms. Rogers with annotations
Q. Affidavit and report of John Sawicki dated November 29, 2017
R. Campaign Contributions for Senator Latvala, 2016 General Election
S. Text messages between Lillian Tysinger and Ms. Rogers dated June 15, 2017 with
T. Affidavit of Lillian Tysinger dated November 30, 3017
U. Affidavit and report of John Sawicki dated December 4, 2017
V. Declaration of Brad Drake dated December 4, 2017
W. Affidavit of Marianne Moran dated December 13,2017
X. Excerpts of text messages from
Page 31 of 33
1. December 6, 2017
2. Charla Jan Gainer November 29, 2017
3. November 28, 2017
4. Brian Hug es December 1, 2017
5. Camille Johnson November 21, 2017
6. Senator Jack Latvala (Volume I) November 29, 2017
7. Senator Jack Latvala (Volume II) December 7, 2017
8. Kelly Mallette December 7, 2017
9. December 7, 2017
10. Caitlin Murray November 30, 2017
11. David Ramba December 6, 2017
12. Teye Reeves November 28,2017
13. Rachel Perrin Rogers (Volume I) November 17, 2017
14. Rachel Perrin Rogers (Volume II) November 17, 2017
15. Rachel Perrin Rogers (Volume III) December 1, 2017
16. Senator Wilton Simpson November 21,2017
17. Senator Gregory Steube November 28,2017
18. November 29,2017
Additional testimony taken on December 18, 2017
Guadalupe Delgadillo
20. Dawn Hanson
21. Lindsey Swindle
22. Kelly Welbom
Page 32 of 33
1. Senator Latvala s work calendar and parking garage photographs transmitted on
December 1, 2017
2. Text message between Ms. Rogers and Mary Ellen Klas
3. Documentation relating to Rogers pay increases
4. Documentation relating to Lilian Tysinger’s pay increases and transfer
5. Affidavit of Scott Ross dated December 5, 2017
6. Written questions answered by Ronald Whitaker re. Tysinger
7. Written questions answered by Cheryl Vancura re. Tysinger
8. Affidavit of Camille Johnson dated December 14,2017
9. Personnel file of Rachel Perrin Rogers
10. Affidavit of Lillian Tysinger dated December 4, 3017
11. Affidavit of John Sawicki and certificate of authenticity pertaining to Senator
Latvala’s phone with copies of text messages transmitted on December 5,2017
12. Political Connections 11/19/17 media interview transcripts
13. Declarations from re. Elevator 13
14. Text messages between Ms. Rogers and Lillian Tysinger starting July 20, 2017
transmitted by Steven Andrews on December 5, 2017
15. Sworn statement of Susie Shin and photographs transmitted December 7, 2017
16. Index of submissions and Latvala’s summary submitted on December 7, 2017
17. December 1, 2017 email from Tiffany Cruz with attached emails
18. Text messages between and Senator Latvala
19. Diary entries made by
Page 33 of 33


@Rachel, thank you for being courageous. He's molested, harassed and assaulted "scores of women." You put the movement on your shoulders, lifted the voices of all women, and for that-- we thank you! To the Florida Senate, expel this filth, immediately.

Add new comment


Opinion Poll

Would you vote for Oprah if she ran for president in 2020?
Older pollsResults


Live streaming of WBOB Talk Radio, a Sunshine State News Radio Partner.