Latvala lashes out at Scott

Gov. Rick Scott stopped short of calling for the resignation of Sen. Jack Latvala yesterday, but made his harshest comments yet about the Clearwater Republican under investigation after being accused of sexually harassing a top Senate aide and others.

Scott yesterday branded Latvala, who has steadfastly denied that he groped anyone, a “distraction” in the Senate, and reiterated previous remarks calling for Latvala to step down if the allegations are true.

Latvala and his lawyer remained mum all day, until 7:39 p.m., when Latvala dropped this bomb on Twitter:

 

JackLatvala's avatar

@FLGovScott I’m sure HCA stockholders thought your efforts to defend yourself in theft of billions from taxpayers was a distraction but you had a right to defend yourself! I have that same right!

 Latvala was referring to Scott’s repeated use of the Fifth Amendment — which he used 75 times — during a deposition in 2000. Later that year, Columbia/HCA, the hospital company which Scott founded, agreed to pay $1.7 billion in fines to the federal government. Scott had stepped down from the company three years earlier.