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Florida Democratic Party Leader Resigns After Allegations of Workplace Harassment

Florida Democratic Party Leader Resigns After Allegations of Workplace Harassment

"When my personal situation becomes distracting to our core mission of electing Democrats and making Florida better, it is time for me to step aside", Bittel said.

One former staffer called Bittel "f--ing creep" while another attributed him to the reason she left the Florida Democratic Party, saying he liked to talk about breasts.

Stephen Bittel's departure after less than a year on the job followed a story by the news website, Politico, on Thursday citing six female former Florida Democratic Party staffers and consultants who said he displayed inappropriate behavior.

The woman allege, according to the report, he would make inappropriate comments, invited women to his hotel room, and even kept a "breast-shaped stress squeeze-ball" on his desk. State Sen. Jack Latvala is now facing an investigation over allegations from six different women who say he sexually harassed them and groped them on multiple occasions.

Bittel said he is working with the party leadership to set a date for his departure.

Though the women said they were never touched inappropriately, fears of the possibility still existed.

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The embattled chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, Stephen Bittel, is prepared to quit if members of the legislative black caucus want him gone for dismissing them as "childish" amid a dispute at a million-dollar weekend fundraising gala, top Democrats tell POLITICO Florida.

The party posted on Twitter a brief statement from Bittel, who had held the position since January. "Bittel's behavior and the atmosphere he has created is unacceptable".

No one accused Bittel of physically groping or assaulting them, but the environment he created made women feel uncomfortable. "Every person, regardless of their gender, race, age or sexuality should be treated with respect and valued for their hard work and contributions to our community and if any of my comments or actions did not reflect that belief I am deeply sorry", he told POLITICO. "The FDP must move forward quickly to rebuild their culture and create an inclusive, safe work environment".

Philip Levine: "I have zero tolerance for harassment in politics or the workplace". "We must actively work to shift the power dynamics in which men have deluded themselves into thinking they have control of women".

The allegations of sexual harassment against Bittel are just the latest in a series of cases that have surfaced in recent weeks, both here in Florida and across the nation.

Last month, one of Bittel's own - Sen. "He's very demeaning. He's inappropriate in his comments he makes to women". But Bittel soon apologized and spent two days expressing contrition to party leaders.


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