MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald is reporting Florida House Rep. Richard L. Steinberg is under federal investigation for sending a series of suggestive and harassing text messages to a married Miami female prosecutor, messages that he has admitted sending in a statement made to The Herald Wednesday afternoon.
As reported by The Herald’s David Ovalle, court records show dozens of messages were sent to Assistant U.S. Attorney Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos over a three month period last fall, using a telephone with a number disguised by a software program.
The Herald reports Fernandez-Karavetsos repeatedly begged the person texting her 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.
The Herald reached out to Steinberg for comment, and late Wednesday, received a response in which Steinberg admitted he was responsible for the texts.
“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 in a statement released by a spokesperson.
“Most importantly, words cannot express how sorry I am to my wife, for the disrespect I have shown her, and my entire family.”
Steinberg did not offer an explanation for the texts.
The Herald reports Steinberg, who was in Tallahassee Wednesday for the 2012 Florida legislative session, has not been charged with anything, although court documents indicate investigators believe he may have been stalking, a misdemeanor charge.
Steinberg is a lawyer, married, who represents parts of Miami Beach in the Florida House. He is a former Miami Beach commissioner.