In a speech on Friday, newly elected Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that he signed an executive order suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel over his “demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership.”
Watch his remarks below:
— ABC News (@ABC) January 11, 2019
According to CNN, DeSantis’ executive order cited both the Parkland shooting in February 2018 as well as the shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in 2017.
“He failed in his duties to keep our families and children safe during the devastating shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018,” DeSantis said.
“These incidents demonstrate Sheriff Israel’s repeated incompetence and neglect of duty. The families of the victims deserve accountability.”
As IJR Red previously noted, Israel already predicted his own removal. He faced an 85 percent vote of no confidence from his officers and was the target of intense scrutiny surrounding his actions in the Parkland shooting.
DeSantis reportedly decided to replace Israel with Gregory Tony, who will become the first sheriff who is black in the county’s history.
Israel responded to DeSantis’ decision on Friday, rejecting the language in the governor’s executive order.
Watch the video below:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 11, 2019
“There was no wrongdoing on my part. I served the county honorably,” Israel said.
He went on to blast “false narratives” and pledged to “vigorously” fight the suspension in court and before the state’s Senate.
As the Associated Press noted, the state Senate would hold a hearing if Israel challenged the suspension. That would result in either reinstating him as sheriff or firing him.
Israel also accused DeSantis of acting out of political motivation rather than making a genuine decision after the Parkland shooting.