|via Florida House|
Richard Steinberg apparently learned very little from Anthony Weiner's downfall. Steinberg, a Democratic member of the Florida House from Miami Beach, has admitted this morning to sending a number of "inappropriate" text messages to a married female prosecutor, starting with this cringeworthy opener: "Sexxxy mama?"
The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos, reported the harassment to the U.S. Secret Service, which tracked a disguised number to Steinberg. "I ... take full responsibility for sending inappropriate and unsolicited messages," Steinberg now acknowledges
In all, Steinberg sent more than a dozen messages to the married attorney last fall, the Miami Herald reports. The notes were masked behind a Yahoo! screen name -- "itsjustme24680" -- and started popping up on Fernandez-Karavetsos' phone with creepy regularity.
Here's the first exchange, which the Herald unearthed from the Secret Service's investigation:
"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.
The texts continued, asking about "motherhood," how Fernandez-Karavetsos' was sleeping and other sketchy subjects.
In his statement taking responsibility for the harassment, Steinberg claims he's known the prosecutor 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 tells the Herald. "Most importantly, words cannot express how sorry I am to my wife, for the disrespect I have shown her, and my entire family."
Yet Fernandez-Karavetsos says she knew Steinberg "only through professional circles."
The politician now faces stalking charges, though he hasn't been arrested yet. Before he was elected to the House in 2008, Steinberg was a longtime Miami Beach commissioner.
If Weiner is any indication, his political career now is probably over thanks to his teenage sexting habits -- though, to Steinberg's credit, at least he didn't text any photos of his junk.