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No Charges Against Latvala In Public Corruption Case

A Tallahassee-area prosecutor says there is insufficient evidence to prove that former state Senator Jack Latvala traded sexual favors in order to help pass legislation.

State Attorney Jack Campbell on Thursday told investigators that criminal charges against Latvala were not warranted. He based his recommendation on a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation that said the allegations could not be independently verified.

Latvala, a powerful Republican from Clearwater, rose to a top leadership post as the Senate budget chairman. He was running for governor when the allegations surfaced.

Latvala resigned in December after a Senate investigation concluded that he likely inappropriately touched a top Senate aide and may have broken the law by offering a witness in the case his support for legislation in exchange for sex acts.

Latvala has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.

His district seat in Pinellas County is still vacant. Republicans Ed Hooper and Leo Karruli are competing in a primary to face Democrat Amanda Murphy in November.

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