Suspended Parkland Sheriff Claims 'This Is About Politics — SOUR GRAPES

Frederick Owens
January 13, 2019

"Today I have issued an executive order suspending Scott Israel as the sheriff of Broward County", DeSantis announced outside the Broward Sheriff's Office headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel refused to resign for almost a year but on Friday, he was suspended and replaced by former Coral Springs Police Department Lt. Gregory Tony.

"Everyone on board is safe and we expect to be in Broward County later this afternoon", Vasquez said.

DeSantis tweeted Friday that the suspension was over Israel's "repeated failures, incompetence and neglect of duty". Despite reports and investigations showing numerous flaws that led to more deaths at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, Israel proclaimed his suspension was "about politics".

The Sun-Sentinel explained the Florida Constitution gives the governor the authority to suspend public officials for "neglect of duty" and other causes.

"It's certainly a shift in tone and whereas we never really had reason to be cautiously optimistic with Governor Scott, we are now", said Bradley Marshall, an attorney for Earth Justice.

Israel is expected to contest his suspension. The actual power to remove the sheriff from office is in the hands of the state Senate.

According to an "after action report" from Israel, the BSO's 30-year-old radio system went down because it was overwhelmed during the Fort Lauderdale shooting that left five dead and six wounded. I know that Scott Israel, he's tried to mask his incompetency previously by calling out the NRA or calling out other individuals, but you know, Martha, this is not about the NRA.

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In Florida, however, the very fact that DeSantis made the effort to murmur the words "climate change" is arguably leaps and bounds in progress as compared to Scott, whose administration ordered Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials to not use the terms "climate change" or "global warming" in any official communications or reports, according to records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. Israel's lawyer, Stuart Kaplan, said this week the sheriff did nothing warranting removal and his future should be left to Broward voters in the 2020 election.

Parents also bashed Israel for saying during a nationally broadcast interview he had provided "amazing leadership" in the shooting's aftermath.

Israel acknowledged the Parkland shooting victims in his rebuttal to the governor.

Seventeen people died on the day of the massacre. "I thank Governor Ron DeSantis for this honor and I commit to faithfully fulfilling my duties to this office".

A state-appointed commission has identified multiple failings in Israel's agency's response to the shooting.

"There was no wrongdoing on my part", Israel told reporters after he was removed from office.

Israel for years has called for tougher gun laws in Florida, a stance that created critics long before the school shooting.

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