Perry Thurston says ‘there will be consequences’ for Frank Artiles


Democratic Sen. Perry Thurston on Wednesday said “there will be consequences” for fellow Sen. Frank Artiles after he spouted insults and used a form of a racial epithet in front of Thurston and Sen. Audrey Gibson Monday night.

“We’ve got a (Legislative Black) Caucus meeting” later today, Thurston said. “After that, I’m sure there will be some actions taken.”

Thurston had been asked whether he planned to file a complaint with Rules Chair Lizbeth Benacquisto as allowed under the Senate Rules, or whether he knew if anyone else planned to.

Senate Rule 1.43 permits “any person (to) file a sworn complaint with the Rules Chair … alleging a violation by a Senator of the Rules regulating legislative conduct and ethics … (A) Senator determined to have violated the requirements of the Rules regulating legislative conduct and ethics may be censured, reprimanded, or expelled.”

Rule 1.35 says that “every Senator shall conduct himself or herself to justify the confidence placed in him or her by the people and, by personal example and admonition to colleagues, shall maintain the integrity and responsibility of his or her office.”

Artiles, a Cuban-American Republican, hurled insults at Thurston and Gibson at the private Governors Club on Monday night, using a variation of the “N-word,” and calling Gibson a “b—h” and a “girl.”

In a public apology on the Senate floor, Artiles explained his use of the N-word as a result of growing up in a “diverse community.”

In comments to reporters later on Wednesday, Senate President Joe Negron said he’d done all he was going to do about the incident, adding that Artiles’s political future is “now a matter between him and his constituents.”

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected].


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