Pressure is increasing on Christian Ziegler to resign as the head of the Florida GOP, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis joining the calls for his resignation, citing the ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual battery against him.
In a recent report by ABC News, Governor DeSantis expressed his belief that Ziegler’s continuation in his role during the ongoing investigation is untenable due to the seriousness of the allegations. The investigation stems from a woman’s claim of sexual battery against Ziegler.
The Florida Center for Government Accountability released a 911 call made by a friend and co-worker of the alleged victim two days after the incident. The caller requested a wellness check for the woman, citing her absence from work and expressing concern about her well-being, including a mention of potential substance abuse and the woman’s fear of leaving her house.
The alleged victim, who had a long-term relationship with Ziegler and his wife, Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler, revealed the accusations in a report from the Florida Center for Government Accountability.
As of now, Ziegler has not been charged in connection with the October 4 complaint, and the Sarasota Police Department’s investigation is ongoing. Despite calls for resignation from Governor DeSantis, local Republicans have remained largely silent.
Various public figures, including State Rep. James Buchanan and Sarasota County Commissioner Neil Rainford, have refrained from commenting on the ongoing investigation, citing its active status. Tom Knight, a candidate for Sarasota County commission, expressed concern for the couple’s children in this situation.
The Florida Center for Government Accountability claimed to have “sources close to the investigation” stating that Ziegler committed sexual battery on October 2, alleging the use of a search warrant to examine Ziegler’s cellphone.
Ziegler’s attorney, Derek Byrd, asserted Ziegler’s full cooperation with the police investigation and expressed confidence that no charges would be filed, presenting Ziegler as a potential victim of false accusations against public figures.
Christian Ziegler, previously a Sarasota County commissioner, assumed the leadership of the state GOP in February. He has emphasized his relationships with prominent Republican figures, including President Donald Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis, throughout his political career.
Bridget Ziegler, co-founder of Moms for Liberty and a prominent conservative figure, has been endorsed by Governor DeSantis. The couple’s social media accounts have been inundated with comments accusing them of hypocrisy and criminal behavior.
Despite the ongoing investigation, School Board member Tom Edwards highlighted concerns about distractions in the school district, urging a return to a focus on academics rather than getting caught up in non-issues.