Florida Republicans voted to effectively oust Christian Ziegler as chairman of the state GOP committee today, following allegations that he raped a woman, according to reports.
During an emergency, closed-door meeting, the party’s executive board voted to censure Ziegler, strip him of his authority, and reduce his salary to $1, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. They also voted to hold a meeting on January 8 in Tallahassee where they’re expected to vote to remove him, the Herald-Tribune reported.
As my colleague Kiera Butler—who has been covering the so-called Ziegler scandal—has reported, the chairman has steadily refused to resign from his post following allegations that he raped a woman who had been involved in a ménage à trois with him and his wife, Bridget, former chair of the Sarasota school board and a co-founder of the influential group Moms for Liberty. The parents’ rights group has called for sexually explicit material to be removed from school libraries and championed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which forbids teachers in the state from talking about same-sex relationships in the majority of contexts. Unsurprisingly, the Zieglers’ alleged three-way has prompted claims of hypocrisy from some Floridians, as Kiera has reported. (Bridget Ziegler has also refused to resign from her current role on the school board.)
The Florida Center for Government Accountability, an investigative journalism outlet, was the first to report the allegations, which Christian Ziegler has denied. Mother Jones has not been able to independently verify the allegations. The Sarasota Police Department is investigating the claims, according to the Herald-Tribune.
The local paper reported that Christian Ziegler was at the meeting on Sunday, and that he apologized to the party for the scrutiny it has received in the wake of his scandal.