Florida Democratic Party leader resigns in wake of scandal

Florida Democratic Party leader resigns in wake of scandal

The general thrust of a Politico report compiling the accusations is that Bittel's behavior created a hostile workplace for the women.

Six women have spoken out about Florida's Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel's behavior, saying they felt uncomfortable around him in the workplace. But he made them feel so uneasy that they didn't want to be alone with him due to his body language, suggestive remarks and even the breast-shaped stress squeeze-ball he has been known to keep on his desk.

With newsfeeds overflowing with stories about groping and other sexual assault, Bittel-with his mere hostile work environment-might have flown under the radar but for the additional attention sexual misconduct claims have received of late.

The candidates calling for Bittel to step down included Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham and businessman Chris King. He did apologize in a statement to Politico and promised to do better.

The Florida Democratic Party said the party's first vice chair, Judy Mount, will take over on an interim basis until the State Executive Committee elects its new leader December 9. We must actively work to shift the power dynamics in which men have deluded themselves into thinking they have control of women. "The FDP must move forward quickly to rebuild their culture and create an inclusive, safe work environment". Bittel, an independently wealthy developer and longtime Democratic donor, can still raise money.

Bittel won the top party post after a disputed election.

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Perhaps Florida Democrats should start asking Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bill Nelson, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama how Bittel's managed to do that.

Bittel issued a broad apology, saying, "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".

Though the women said they were never touched inappropriately, fears of the possibility still existed. "I have much to learn, but my goal is and has always been to make sure every member of our party has a safe environment in which to succeed".

"There was a lot of boob stuff in his office", said a woman who was a fundraiser years ago and had to interact with him.

Starting with Gillum, the gubernatorial candidates then said only Bittel's resignation would be acceptable. I hope Chairman Bittel does the right thing and steps down as Chairman.

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