(NationalUSNews.com) — Florida’s Republican Party suspended Florida Republican Party Chair Christian Ziegler following allegations of Zeigler committing sexual battery against a woman and a subsequent criminal investigation. The investigation into Ziegler’s potential involvement in the battery prompted an emergency meeting between members of the Florida Republican Party, which resulted in the party censuring Ziegler for the foreseeable future.
The decision to censure Zielger is a response to the allegations against him, which indicate his involvement in an assault on a woman he and his wife knew. According to the victim, Ziegler allegedly assaulted her following a planned intimate encounter between her, Ziegler’s wife, and Ziegler. After Ziegler’s wife had to pull out of the plans, the victim canceled the planned encounter, prompting Ziegler to visit her apartment. The victim claims that upon arriving at her apartment, Ziegler forcefully entered her residence and assaulted her.
The scandal prompted the Florida Republican Party to reduce Ziegler’s pay to one dollar annually and call for his resignation. Despite facing calls from his party to resign, Ziegler maintains his innocence and refuses to leave his office due to the controversy. The Florida Republican Party also assigned most of Ziegler’s duties as chair to Vice Chair Evan Power, removing much of Ziegler’s authority. The Republican Party of Florida released a statement about the decision, claiming it is working towards removing Ziegler from power.
Other Republican lawmakers from Florida are calling for Ziegler’s resignation, including Lee County’s GOP Chair, Michael Thompson. Thompson claims that Ziegler’s conduct renders him unfit for public office and that Ziegler should resign for the betterment of the Republican Party of Florida. The primary concern for members of Florida’s Republican Party is a loss of public confidence spurred by Ziegler’s alleged heinous actions against the victim. Some Republicans believe Florida citizens won’t be willing to trust the party if Ziegler remains in his current position as chair.
Power spoke about the ongoing scandal surrounding Ziegler and confirmed the Republican Party of Florida had scheduled an additional emergency meeting. The second emergency meeting relating to Zeigler is set for January 8th and will only occur if Zeigler refuses to resign from his position. If Ziegler remains in his position until the second emergency meeting, Florida’s Republican Party will remove him from his position and elect a new chair, according to a report from the New York Times.
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