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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

No charges for legislator sending sexy texts



 Richard Steinberg, the former Miami Beach state representative, will not face criminal charges for sending creepy and harassing anonymous text messages to a married federal prosecutor.

He resigned from office in February after The Miami Herald reported he was under investigation for sending dozens of “inappropriate and unsolicited” text messages to the woman.

In a final report released Friday, state prosecutors said they could not prove Steinberg, D-Miami Beach, acted in a “malicious’” way, a key element for charges under Florida’s stalking statute.

“The victim, although supportive of any filing decision made, could not in good faith say she felt [Steinberg] was being malicious,” according to the final memo by prosecutor Johnette Hardiman.

Steinberg, a former Miami Beach commissioner, was elected in 2008 and was well-respected among his peers in the Florida House of Representatives.

Last summer, Steinberg used a Yahoo! account with the screen name “itsjustme24680” to send text messages to Assistant U.S. AttorneyMarlene Fernandez-Karavetsos.

For months, Fernandez-Karavetsos told investigators, an anonymous texter sent suggestive messages, calling her “sexxxy mama” and asking about her infant son. She repeatedly asked the person to stop and identify himself.

Fernandez-Karavetsos, who is married to a federal prosecutor, only knew Steinberg through professional circles. Steinberg, a lawyer, is married with children.

More from David Ovalle here

Patricia Mazzei


[Last modified: Friday, November 2, 2012 11:26pm]


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