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Negron: Artiles will apologize to Gibson on Senate floor


Florida Senate President Joe Negron said late Tuesday he was "appalled" by Miami Republican Sen. Frank Artiles' cursing and use of a racial slur in conversation with other lawmakers -- and announced that Artiles will formally apologize to Jacksonville Democratic Sen. Audrey Gibson on the Senate floor Wednesday.

Negron's much harsher statement -- compared to his initial response -- came after the Black Caucus scheduled an emergency Wednesday meeting to deal with the Artiles fallout.

“Senator Braynon reported this incident to me earlier today, and I was appalled to hear that one Senator would speak to another in such an offensive and reprehensible manner," Negron said in a statement. "My first priority was to ensure that this matter was promptly addressed between the two Senators involved, which occurred this evening.  Racial slurs and profane, sexist insults have no place in conversation between Senators and will not be tolerated while I am serving as Senate President. Senator Artiles has requested a point of personal privilege at the beginning of tomorrow’s sitting, during which he intends to formally apologize to Senator Gibson on the Senate Floor.”

Negron's original statement: “It is my understanding that this matter has been resolved by the Senators involved.”

Incoming Senate President Bill Galvano of Bradenton, who escorted Artiles to privately apologize to Gibson, also issued a statement Tuesday:


"Senator Audrey Gibson is an admired colleague and a personal friend, and under no circumstances should ever have been spoken to in such a reprehensible manner. I understand that President Negron is allowing Senator Artiles to formally apologize on the Senate floor tomorrow. Such comments cannot be repaired by a formal apology, but I trust that it is an appropriate step to be taken by the President and the Florida Senate to handle this matter, and to ensure that this behavior is not tolerated and does not happen again."