PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Former state Senator Frank Artiles and the shill candidate he is accused of funding were both arrested last week in a bombshell election scandal.
Artiles had “no comment” as he bonded out of jail Thursday night. His arrest was the culmination of a four-month investigation at the State Attorney’s office, launched the day after Local 10 found two shill candidates that might have swayed South Florida state Senate elections.
One of those phony candidates was also arrested and charged.
Prosecutors have evidence Artiles recruited and paid off auto parts dealer Alex Rodriguez to pose as a candidate and dupe voters to siphon votes from the democratic incumbent with whom he shared the same last name, Jose Javier Rodriguez.
He ended up losing his seat by 32 votes to now-state Senator Ileana Garcia.
Though investigators said they found no evidence she was involved with the scheme, there are now calls for her to resign and for a new election.
State Senator Gary Farmer of Broward County is one of those, as the Democratic minority leader in the state Senate.
He joined This Week in South Florida hosts Glenna Milberg and Michael Putney, and their conversation can be seen at the top of this page.