A Tampa Tribune reporter resigned after being confronted with questions about an alleged fabrication in a story that was published in Wednesday's editions.
The newspaper said Brad Smith made up an anecdote at the beginning of the story about a woman whose Jeep was towed while she was visiting nightclubs.
Janet Weaver, the Tribune's executive editor, apologized to readers in a signed letter on Thursday's front page.
"We recognize that we have a covenant with our readers: to be truthful, to be fair, to be credible," Weaver wrote. "I am sorry that we've failed you in this case. We will rededicate ourselves to earning and keeping your trust."
The woman in the story, who is an acquaintance of Smith's, said she called Tribune editors to complain about "significant inaccuracies" in the story.