Former Sheriff Scott Israel vows to fight 'unjustified' suspension from office

Sunday, 13 Jan, 2019

News of a replacement for Sheriff Israel comes just days after he told his staff that DeSantis was suspending him over his office's handling of the Parkland schooting.

The governor replaced Israel with former Coral Springs Police Sgt. Gregory Tony, 40, who has a background in active-shooter training and becomes the first black sheriff in Broward County's history. "And they are now trying to control law enforcement in Broward County", he added. "He failed to protect Floridians and visitors during the tragic Fort Lauderdale International Airport shooting in 2017", DeSantis said in a statement.

DeSantis had been expected to hold a news conference at 3 p.m. on Friday, but his plane had mechanical problems, so they had to divert to St. Petersburg, delaying his arrival to South Florida.

Much of the perceived faults of the Broward Sheriff's Office were outlined in the lengthy Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission report submitted to the governor's office last week. It was reported in the wake of the shooting that one of Israel's deputies, Scot Peterson, did not enter the school as the massacre took place.

Israel plans to contest the suspension, according to the Associated Press.

As early as March 1, DeSantis called for Israel to resign, amid revelations of missed red-flags and a slow response to the shooting. Aside from court challenges, Israel has the right to challenge his suspension before the Florida Senate, which would hold a trial to uphold his dismissal or overturn it. The actual power to remove the sheriff from office is in the hands of the state Senate.

In April, Broward County sheriff's deputies took a largely symbolic vote of no confidence against Israel, with Bell vowing to ask the governor to consider removing Israel.

A report issued by the panel investigating the response found that several BSO deputies failed to run into the building to try to stop the gunman - or were slow and inadequately trained to confront the killer and stop him.

Interested in Parkland school shooting? Rick Scott, refused to suspend Israel, saying he wanted to wait until investigations were completed. "These incidents demonstrate Sheriff Israel's repeated incompetence and neglect of duty".

Israel expressed sympathy for the families but blasted DeSantis, a Republican, for carrying out what he considered to be a political hit job.

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

"One more second and she makes it", Guttenberg said.

Israel had faced fierce criticism for almost a year over his agency's response to the rampage that claimed the lives of 14 students and three staff members.