josephus eggelletion arrest photo  web.jpgWEST PALM BEACH – Former Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion Jr., one of South Florida’s craftiest politicians, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering on Thursday after reaching an agreement with prosecutors, and resigned from office.

U.S. District Court Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks set sentencing for Feb. 17.

Eggelletion on Thursday also submitted his resignation to Gov. Charlie Crist, setting up a special election for the rest of his District 9 county commission term, which expires in 2012.

At Thursday’s court hearing, Eggelletion tried to read from a prepared statement, but broke down in tears, unable to continue.

His attorney, Johnny McCray, declined comment, and instead released another statement from the disgraced commissioner.

I am severely disappointed with my recent actions that have led to the federal case against me,’’ the statement reads. “I sincerely apologize to the community, to my many supporters, to the public at large for failing to uphold the honor and integrity of the office to which I was elected, and to my family for falling so far from the man they know me to be.’’

Eggelletion made his guilty plea at the Paul G. Rogers Federal Building & U.S. Southern District Courthouse in West Palm Beach during an appearance that was scheduled to beign at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

His statement continues: I dishonored myself and my office, and I have begun the process of trying to atone for my actions. I fully and completely accept responsibility for my conduct. I have learned much as a result of my misconduct, and I hope to be able to return my life toward a more forthright and honorable direction. I ask the community and all public servants to learn from my misconduct, and to hew to the right and honorable path.

Pictured above is Josephus Eggelletion.