Frank Artiles resigns from Florida Senate

Four days after he publicly berated Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville, Frank Artiles resigned from the Florida Senate.


In a letter dated Friday and sent to Senate President Joe Negron, Artiles said, “my actions and my presence in government is now a distraction to mycolleagues, the legislative process, the citizens of our great State.

“I am responsible and I am accountable and effectively immediately I am resigning from the Florida State Senate.”

In separate statement, Articles said, “While I take full responsibility for using language that was vulgar and inappropriate, my family has fallen victim to apolitical process that can distort the truth for the sole purpose of political gain.”

The decision comes amid harsh criticism of the Republican from Miami who verbally abused Gibson late Monday night in the lounge of the privateGovernors Club near the Capitol. He lambasted her for her questions about bills he sponsored and her committee votes against them.

Gibson could not be reached immediately for comment.

In a statement, Negron said, “Senator Artiles made the right decision.”

Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, released a statement saying, “I applaud and welcome Senator Artiles’ decision to resigntoday. It was not only the right decision, but the honorable one, for himself and the people of Florida.

Braynon said, “I take no pleasure in these unfortunate events. But I urge that we learn from them. In our communities, our state, and our country, thereshould be a message of hope, of tolerance, of unity. We cannot afford the high cost words of divisiveness and cruelty leave in their wake.”

Artiles took to the Senate floor Wednesday morning to apologize for his profanity-laced and racially offensive language when he criticized Gibson andNegron’s leadership. But he also said at the time that he would not resign and planned to run for re-election in 2018.

The legislative black caucus filed a formal complaint on Wednesday and requested the Senate expel Artiles, who was stripped of his committeechairmanship.

On Thursday, House Speaker Richard Corcoran said the remarks made were “reprehensible,” but stopped short of saying Artiles should resign. Gov. RickScott said he would “immediately fire” an employee who said what Artiles said.

Senate General Counsel Dawn Roberts was acting as special master overseeing an investigation of Monday’s incident. Senate Rules Chairwoman LizbethBenacquisto asked Roberts to provide a report by Tuesday. The rules committee was to decide if any action should be recommended to the full Senatewith final approval on the floor requiring a two-thirds vote.

Negron’s statement noted, “I have directed the Special Master to close her investigation. No further action by the Senate will be taken in regard to thismatter.”

Read this Florida Times-Union story.

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Read Sen. Artiles resignation letter


Senator Frank Artiles resigns from Florida State Senate

Tallahassee, FL April 21, 2017 – Putting his family, the State of Florida and his supporters first, Republican State Senator Frank Artiles has resigned from the office he was elected to by the voters of District-40. Upon resignation, the senator released the following statement:

“This experience has allowed me to see that for too many years I have sacrificed what I hold most dear in my life, my wife and my two young daughters. While I take full responsibility for using language that was vulgar and inappropriate, my family has fallen victim to a political process that can distort the truth for the sole purpose of political gain.”

I clearly made comments that were hurtful, unacceptable and inappropriate. The American people and Floridians want their leaders to be accountable and responsible, and by resigning my elected office I believe I am demonstrating those qualities they desire and deserve.

I will now prioritize the people that matter most in my life, my wife and my two daughters. It’s time that my duty to God as a husband and a father come first. I love my community with all my heart and I am proud of the work my team has done during the last seven years. I expect to continue to serve the most vulnerable in our community and want to thank everyone who has supported me, my family and my team through the last seven years. I can’t thank you enough.”

Mr. Artiles will not be available for media interviews and effective immediately all media inquiries should be sent to