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Dangerous Bedfellows: Jeff Clemens Caught in Affair with Tallahassee Lobbyist

October 27, 2017 - 12:15pm
Jeff Clemens
Jeff Clemens

Florida’s incoming Senate minority leader finds himself in hot water after admitting to an affair with a Tallahassee lobbyist, coating the state Capitol in intrigue and scandal well before next year’s legislative session has begun.

POLITICO first reported about the scandal on Friday. By mid-morning, Clemens had gone dark on social media, deleting his Twitter account as the headlines went out about his private life.

He apologized for having an affair with lobbyist Devon West, who was recently tapped to work for the Broward County Board of County Commissioners. 

“I used poor judgment and hurt people that I care about, and for that I apologized long ago,” Clemens told Politico. “But I also owe my constituents and colleagues an apology and I intend to do just that.”

According to the report, the affair became public after West obtained Clemens’ laptop computer. West allegedly rummaged through the laptop, gaining access to all of Clemens’ contacts and personal information and informed Clemens’ wife of the affair. 

Politico wrote that Clemens then went to Senate Budget Chief Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, about the affair and asked him for help. 

Latvala enlisted Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami, to do damage control because he lived in the same apartment building as West. West left Clemens’ laptop with the concierge of the Tennyson condominium complex for Braynon to pick up.

Clemens apologized for the incident repeatedly and said he would be “seeking forgiveness” for the affair.

Devon West
Devon West

"No excuses are good enough or can undo the pain I've caused,” Clemens said. “I have spent a lot of time, long before I was contacted by a reporter, focusing on improving my behavior. I will always aim to be a better person, be as honest in my private life as I am with my public one, and continue to seek forgiveness from the people I have wronged.”

Clemens is set to take the reins of the Senate Democratic Party in 2019 and has represented parts of Palm Beach County in Tallahassee since 2012. 

He represents Senate District 31, which includes Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach and Greenacres.

Prior to his stint as a Florida senator, Clemens served one term in the Florida House of Representatives. 

West previously worked as a lobbyist for Martin County. According to posts on her Facebook page, she traveled to Iceland over the summer before Broward County employed her to handle their intergovernmental relations.

Sunshine State News contacted both Sen. Clemens and Sen. Braynon’s office for further comment but had not received a response at the time of this story’s release. 


This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.



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