Florida’s GOP Chair Ousted Amid Scandal

(LibertyInsider.org) – The Republican Party of Florida recently underwent leadership changes following a months-long internal and external investigation into Chairman Christian Ziegler’s personal conduct. GOP leaders overwhelmingly voted in favor of removing him from the role on January 8 as a result of those findings. Former Vice-Chairman Evan Power immediately stepped up to take his place.

Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) openly criticized Ziegler last year when allegations surfaced that he had sexually assaulted a woman in Sarasota. At a December press conference, he called the charges “very serious” and stated, “I think he should step down.”

The allegations against Ziegler stem from an incident that occurred last October. A Sarasota woman, who had reportedly engaged in consensual three-way relations with the chairman and his wife, Bridget Ziegler, at least once in the past, accused him of sexual assault.

Court records show that the group planned to meet up for another private encounter. However, Bridget canceled at the last minute, and Ziegler’s accuser also decided to drop out, sending him a text saying, “Sorry, I was in mostly for [Bridget].”

According to the woman’s testimony, Christian Ziegler showed up at her apartment on October 2 in spite of her decision to opt out. He proceeded to sexually assault her despite the fact that she was far too intoxicated to give any kind of legal consent at the time.

The woman sought medical attention at Sarasota Memorial Hospital two days later. Healthcare staff collected a Sexual Assault Evidence Kit (SAEK) and subsequently reported the incident to local police, who immediately launched an investigation.

The first damning piece of evidence they identified was surveillance footage captured outside the Sarasota woman’s apartment, which confirmed Ziegler’s presence there that day. However, this alone was not enough to justify an arrest.

The ongoing investigation revealed intriguing complexities. Ziegler fully acknowledged having sex with the woman but maintained that she was a willing participant at the time. He also told police that he had recorded the encounter and immediately deleted it. Once the accusations went public, he claimed to have retrieved it and uploaded it to his Google Drive.

Police have yet to find evidence that the video exists despite subpoenaing Google to provide deleted data from Ziegler’s cloud drive. However, a separate search warrant turned up multiple messages between the former chairman and the Sarasota woman in which she clearly expressed the severity of the allegations. The criminal case has yet to be fully resolved.

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