Citing neglect of duty and incompetence, Governor Ron DeSantis removed now former Sheriff Scott Israel from office Friday afternoon. Read the governor’s Executive Order here.
Effective immediately, I am officially suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for his repeated failures, incompetence and neglect of duty. https://t.co/tkHzxTHhjH
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 11, 2019
Israel was highly criticized for his handling of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School on February 14, 2018 that killed 17 students and faculty.
It is also being reported that several of Israel’s staff members resigned today.
Sheriff Gregory Tony has been named the new Broward County Sheriff. Israel intends to fight the suspension.
Several family members of the shooting victims spoke at the press conference outside BSO headquarters in Fort Lauderdale including outspoken Israel critic Andrew Pollack.
“I’m not going to stop until the kids in Broward are safe,” said Pollack who lost his daughter Meadow in the shooting. Pollack also targeted Broward Schools chief Robert Runcie and wants him dismissed for his role in the incident.
Earlier in the day DeSantis suspended Okaloosa County Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson however he is uncertain if he can remove Runcie as he was appointed to the office by the school board and not elected by voters.
Gregory Tony, a former Coral Springs police sergeant, called the deputies now under his command ‘the bravest and most selfless individuals I have ever known.’ He is the first black person to hold the office in Broward’s history.
— George Bennett (@gbennettpost) January 11, 2019
Addressing the citizens of Broward County, Tony said: “I have served you once before, simply doing my job to enforce the laws of this great state. I am here to continue that mission.”
Former Sheriff Scott Israel spoke in front of New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale shortly afterward.
Calling it a “A massive power grab by the governor to undercut the voters of Broward County,” Israel promised to fight the suspension in court and with the state senate.
“This was about politics, not about Parkland,” he said. “And now the NRA controls the governor’s actions in Florida.”
Israel thanked his supporters and stood by his performance as Broward’s top cop. “I’m leaving the agency stronger than when I arrived,” he said. “I look forward to returning soon.”
Israel attorney Stuart Kaplan said the facts presented by Gov. DeSantis do not warrant his removal from office. “There is only one person responsible for Parkland, and that is the shooter Nikolas Cruz,” he said.
Israel said he intends to run for office again in 2020.
Stay connected with News/Talk 850WFTL for more information.