Florida State Senator Frank Artiles resigns after using racial slur

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida state senator who used a racial slur and vulgar language in a conversation with two African-American colleagues is resigning.

Republican Sen. Frank Artiles submitted a resignation letter to the Senate president's office on Friday, four days after he used the 'n-word' and vulgarities at a private club near the state Capitol.

He later apologized on the Senate floor.

Democrats were calling for his expulsion and Republican leadership began an investigation into whether Artiles violated Senate rules.

Artiles said in his resignation letter his actions are now a distraction to his colleagues, the legislative process and Floridians. His resignation is effective immediately.

Senator Perry Thurston released a statement on Artiles' resignation:

“On behalf of the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, I welcome the news of Senator Frank Artiles’ resignation today from the Florida Senate.

“We regret that this action was necessary, but we believe it was the right action to take. It was surely a difficult decision for the Senator to make, but we believe he followed his conscience and made the right choice.

“The actions of this Senate, and those of the multitude of Floridians who stood up in objection to the events of this week are to be lauded. They underscored the critical lesson that words can be painful, they can be hurtful, and they can have consequences.”

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