Former Rep. Ralph Arza, R-Hialeah, used the N-word in a cellphone rant to a colleague last year and was almost immediately asked to leave the Legislature by his friend, incoming House Speaker Marco Rubio.
Current Rep. Bob Allen, R-Merritt Island, allegedly offered to perform a sex act on a Titusville cop for $20 at a public restroom in early July, yet Rubio hasn't made a move to investigate him or remove him as chair of the energy committee.
What gives? Rubio recently said he could only comment so much because the case could still be referred to him and he needs to remain impartial. He said the two circumstances "seem very different" but wouldn't elaborate. Also, he said, Allen's case needed to go through the courts.
"We still have a country where you're innocent until proven guilty," Rubio said. "Representative Allen has pleaded not guilty and says he's not guilty. We have to wait for all the facts to come in."
That last comment could be a clue. Rubio was played the recording of Arza and his cousin making threatening calls to former state Rep. Gus Barreiro, a Miami Beach Republican who had filed a complaint against Arza. Once Rubio heard that recording, there was no ambiguity.
Without a recording of Allen's alleged proposition, it remains an alleged proposition. Still, Rubio said, he would "re-evaluate" who leads and sits on what committees, which is "every speaker's prerogative."