A State Senator who made vulgar and racist remarks about other State Senators and the Senate leadership resigned today, a scant 86 hours after losing his temper in a Tallahassee watering hole. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, Frank Artilles would likely have become the first State Senator to be expelled from office in modern times if he had not left on his own.
The resignation letter was delivered to the Senate Presidents office before noon Friday. In it Frank Artilles says “My actions and my presence in government is now a distraction to my colleagues, the legislative process and and the citizens of our great state.”
Artiles had apologized for the Monday night remarks on Wednesday.
“As you can see, my harsh words have reflected more on methane they could ever have on anyone else” Artiles said on the Senate Floor.
The resignation was expected. Wednesdays apology rang hollow for many of Artilles Colleagues. Sen. Perry Thurston filed the complaint seeking Artiles expulsion, and it was moving quickly to conclusion.
“Did someone go to him and say you’ll get thrown out if you don’t resign?”
“Well, I don’t know that but I would think that was the case because several people have come to us in the meantime and saying is there way for a soft landing?” says Thurston.
“Is this a soft landing?”
“I don’t know if this is a soft landing. To end someone’s political career. to have to resign. to have to put your family thought this. It’s unfortunate.”
“All of us are accountable for our actions and comments. So I think it’s an appropriate resolution” said Senator Joe Negron.
It’s now up to the Governor to set a date for a special election.
The resignation was an abrupt turnaround for the brash, defiant, former Marine. On Wednesday he vowed he would stay.
“I’m also going to file for 2018 and win my election. thank You.
A prediction which is now very unlikely to be fulfilled. In his letter Artiles also said “It’s clear there are consequences to every action, and in this area, I will need the for personal reflection and growth.