Five 2017 Florida Sex-Harassment Scandals

Five 2017 Florida Sex-Harassment ScandalsEXPAND

Ex. Florida Sen. Jack Latvala

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December 25, 2017

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8:00am

This year was, thankfully, a year in which America's most sexually rapacious scumbags finally started to get their comeuppances. And guess what? Florida is filled with complete scumbags. You're not surprised? Literally everyone has known this since Florida was first incorporated? Okay, fine.

But, hey, at least we got to watch the following list of garbage people get their just desserts this year. Here's to a 2018 free from these assholes:

1. Jack "The Sexually Deviant Bowl of Congealed Duck Fat" Latvala. What's worse than getting repeatedly sexually assaulted by a man who looks like Fat Bastard's divorce lawyer? Allegedly getting extorted for sexual favors by a massive, wheezing monster and then having him use his power as one of the most powerful men in the Florida Senate to spread lies about you and convince some members of the Florida media world that you're making the accusations up for political gain. Thank god six women this year found the bravery to tell Politico that Latvala was habitually assaulting them. That story sparked a state investigation, which said that Latvala was likely groping lobbyists and staffers regularly, and even texted one woman to extort her for sex in exchange for legislative support. Enjoy crawling back to whatever toadstool you live under in Tampa, Handsy Jack.

2. Frank "I Swear They Were Real Interns" Artiles. Miami State Sen. Frank Artiles was forced to resign this year, partly, for saying the N-word in front of black colleagues. But during that scandal, he also got caught hiring unqualified Hooters waitresses and Playboy models as "campaign consultants" and taking them on fishing trips and other vacations. Terrifyingly, it's believed that Artiles is one of many entitled white dudes using Tallahassee as his personal, "skintern"-filled getaway. Perhaps the currently unemployed Artiles can take some time to name a few names in 2018.

3. Stephen "A Lot of Boob Stuff" Bittel. Billionaire Miami Beach real-estate investor and political megadonor Stephen Bittel was known for being such an unbearable asshole that his name turned up in the Democratic National Committee's leaked emails this year — because DNC staffers were forced to apologize to people who sat next to Bittel at party functions and galas. That should have been a huge red flag, but the perpetually inept Florida Democratic Party named Bittel its chairperson this year anyway, despite complaints from every progressive in the party. Bittel responded by saying a bunch of racist stuff, nearly losing his job, and then finally stepping down after women told Politico that Bittel constantly leered at them, made really inappropriate and belittling comments, creeped women out so much that they refused to be alone with him, and filled his party office with "a lot of boob stuff," including a boob-shaped stress ball. You know, the sort of thing an adult puts in his office.

4. Ritch "Being a Power-Company Lackey Wasn't Enough Already" Workman. There's not much to say about Ritch Workman besides this: He was a former lawmaker and known water-carrier for the state's carbon-spewing private utility monopolies who magically got appointed this year to the Florida Public Service Commission, the state body that oversees power companies. His tenure didn't last long: State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto said Workman "pushed his body up against me and made vulgar and inappropriate gestures" at her at a 2016 charity event, of all places, and Workman bowed out from public "service" once more.

5. Rafael "I Definitely Did Not Do It" Velasquez. Rafael Velasquez maintains he definitely did not whip out his penis while riding in the passenger's seat of Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez's car. He denies that he groped a second woman who provided the Miami Herald with text-messages that showed him flirting with her. He denied that the accusations would impact his run for Miami Beach City Commission. He lost and now works as a cab driver.

Jerry Iannelli is Miami New Times’ daily-news reporter. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He moved to South Florida in 2015.

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