Florida senator Frank Artiles resigns after 'n-word' controversy

Last Updated: Friday, April 21, 2017, 11:43 AM EDT

Miami-area Republican Sen. Frank Artiles, who apologized this week to colleagues after he reportedly used a variation of the "n-word," resigned on Friday.

In a prepared statement, Artiles said:

"It is clear to me my recent actions and words that I spoke fell far short of what I expect for myself, and for this I am very sorry. I apologize to my family and friends and I apologize to all of my fellow Senators and lawmakers. To the people of my district and all of Miami-Dade, I am sorry I have let you down and ask for your forgiveness.

"My actions and my presence in government is now a distraction to my colleagues, the legislative process, and the citizens of our great State."

His apology came after Artiles was accused of using a variation of the "n-word" in private conversation at Tallahassee's Governor's Club with Democratic Sens. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville and Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale earlier in the week. They said Artiles also used obscene and belittling language directed at them in the Monday night conversation.

Gibson said it was the most disrespect she has ever encountered.

Artiles apologized Tuesday afternoon, after Senate President Joe Negron was told about the incident.

Negron, a Republican removed Artiles as chairman of the Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee on Wednesday.

The full text of the Artiles statement is below.

Dear President Negron,
Seven years ago, I began my public service with one goal in mind, and that was to serve a cause greater than my own.
Serving my constituents and improving their lives is why I serve. On many important issues, caring for the elderly, education and job creation, I have made it my personal mission to put others first. It’s the way I was raised, and the way I still choose to live my life today.
As a Marine, this attitude was embodied in our motto: Semper Fidelis, or “Always Faithful.” Be faithful to God, to country and to our fellow soldiers.
As a father and husband, despite the daily demands of elected office, I always keep the promises that I make to my two beautiful daughters, Bella and Giavanna, and my loving wife Aimee. I’m a fulfilled man, because of their unconditional love and support.
It is clear to me my recent actions and words that I spoke fell far short of what I expect for myself, and for this I am very sorry. I apologize to my family and friends and I apologize to all of my fellow Senators and lawmakers. To the people of my district and all of Miami-Dade, I am sorry I have let you down and ask for your forgiveness.
My actions and my presence in government is now a distraction to my colleagues, the legislative process, and the citizens of our great State.
I am responsible and I am accountable and effective immediately, I am resigning from the Florida State Senate.
It’s clear there are consequences to every action, and in this area, I will need time for personal reflection and growth.
I leave this office knowing that despite my shortcomings, I have fought hard to change the status quo while remaining true to myself. I’m grateful for those that have stood by my side, including my family, friends, and supporters.
Serving my community in the Florida Legislature has been the honor of a lifetime and I do not leave this process lightly. I will discover ways to continue to serve my community in the future.
God bless the great state of Florida and our great country.
Sincerely,
Senator Frank Artiles