"The events of the past week have been difficult for my family, for me and for everyone involved," State Rep. Richard Steinberg (D) wrote in a statement on Friday. "After much consultation with my family, my friends and my colleagues in the Democratic caucus -- and after some time for quiet, personal reflection -- I have decided to resign, effective today, from my position as a member of Florida's House of Representatives. "
The Miami Herald first reported this week that Steinberg had used a fake Yahoo! account, with the name "itsjustme24680," to send dozens of suggestive text messages to Assistant U.S. Attorney Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos.
The U.S. Secret Service began investigating after Fernandez-Karavetsos reported the texts in August. Here's one exchange, via the Herald:
"Sexxxy mama?" the first one read.
"How do I know you?" replied Fernandez-Karavetsos.
The texter declined to identify himself.
"Leave me alone," she texted back.
"Is that anyway to treat a friend? LOL," the texter replied.
In another exchange, Fernandez-Karavetsos tried to get the texter to identify himself, and he replied: "Considering we're both married parents, probably best I not answer that at this point."
After a subpoena, the Secret Service was able to trace the texts back to Steinberg, who copped to it on Wednesday: "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," he said. "I deeply regret and wholeheartedly apologize for the disrespect that I have shown her, her husband and my constituents."
"Most importantly, words cannot express how sorry I am to my wife, for the disrespect I have shown her, and my entire family," Steinberg added.
In an ironic twist, last week Steinberg voted in favor of a bill that expands the definition of "aggravated stalking" to include threats made via text or e-mail.