GOP leaders could decide Christian Ziegler's fate in a special meeting
The Republican Party of Florida has called for a special meeting to decide the fate party chairman Christian Ziegler, who is under criminal investigation for sexual assault.
In an email sent to colleagues late Tuesday, GOP vice chair Evan Power asked to convene Dec. 17 in Orlando.
The executive board meeting would consider whether to discipline Ziegler, and could suspend his duties and pay.
Ziegler has resisted calls to resign from Gov. Ron DeSantis and a host of politicians on both sides of the aisle.
The allegations were first reported by the Florida Center for Government Accountability in its Florida Trident publication.
It prompted an investigation by the Sarasota Police Department after a woman, who said she was previously involved in a sexual relationship with Ziegler and his wife, accused him of sexually assaulting her in October.
DeSantis addressed what he called "very serious" allegations a day after the report surfaced.
"I don't see how he can continue with that investigation ongoing, given the gravity of those situations," DeSantis told reporters. "And so I think he should step aside, I think he should tend to that. He's innocent until proven guilty, but we just can't have a party chair that is under that type of scrutiny."
Ziegler is a former Sarasota County commissioner, whose wife, Bridget, sits on the school board and co-founded the far-right group Moms For Liberty.
Christian Ziegler's lawyer, Derek Byrd, said in a statement that his client has been "fully cooperative" with the investigation.
No charges have been filed, and Ziegler has said the sex was consensual.
Information from the Florida Trident and staff writer Carl Lisciandrello contributed to this report.
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