TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - It didn’t take long for scandal to erupt in the legislative session.
Two desks sat empty in the Senate Chamber on the first day of the session. Both belonged to Senators who resigned after sexual misconduct.
First on the list of Senate President Joe Negron's priorities: dealing with sexual harassment in the legislature.
“The Florida Senate has zero tolerance for sexual harassment," said Negron.
Many of the female legislators wore black as a show of solidarity with victims.
But all eyes were on Senator Anitere Flores and Senate Minority Leader Oscar Branyon. A video, released by an unknown source, claimed to show Flores entering Branyon’s condo and leaving the next morning.
Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran had harsh words when asked if he had concerns over the two lawmakers being secretly videotaped.
“No, the problem is people with reprehensible behavior. Always will be, always will be," he said.
Within hours the two issued this joint statement, “Our longtime friendship evolved to a level that we deeply regret. We have sought the forgiveness of our families, and also seek the forgiveness of our constituents and God.”
Lawmakers say they’re committed to not allowing the scandal to interfere with the legislative process.
“We're also going to make sure that everybody in this building and that works in this process is going to be protected at the same time," added Senator Lauren Book.
No one is calling for the two to resign, yet.
Senator Book is Sponsoring legislation to establish a task force for sexual harassment prevention. It would also exempt victims' names from public records requirements.