The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida lawmaker under investigation for bizarre texts

22

February

1rsnex.em_.56.jpgFederal agents are investigating Florida House Rep. Richard L. Steinberg for sending a series of suggestive and harassing text messages to a married Miami female prosecutor, court records show.

The dozens of messages, sent over the course of more than three months last fall, were sent from a phone that used software to disguise the number. The victim, Assistant U.S. Attorney Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos, repeatedly begged the anonymous texter to leave her alone.

When U.S. Secret Service investigators traced the Yahoo! screen name, "itsjustme24680," it led to a phone and home internet account registered to Steinberg, a former Miami Beach commissioner whom Fernandez-Karavetsos knew only through professional circles.

Late Wednesday, Steinberg — in response to a request for comment from the Miami Herald — admitted in an email that he was behind the messages.

"I acknowledge and take full responsibility for sending inappropriate and unsolicited messages to Mrs. Marlene Fernandez-Karvetsos, whom I have known for more than 15 years. I deeply regret and wholeheartedly apologize for the disrespect that I have shown her, her husband and my constituents," he said through a spokesman.

"Most importantly, words cannot express how sorry I am to my wife, for the disrespect I have shown her, and my entire family."

Story here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 6:14pm]

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