Disgraced ex-Broward County Florida Sheriff Scott Israel who was removed from his position after the Parkland high school shooting in February of 2018 is now suing over his removal from office.
According to the Attorneys for Israel, Ben Kuehne and Stuart Kaplan, they state that their federal lawsuit “contends Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Senate deprived him of due process and failed to follow a special master’s recommendation that he shouldn’t have been suspended from office.”
— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) November 24, 2019
Israel was removed from his position as Sheriff when it was deemed that he was not capable of performing his position. This came in regards to his department’s response to the shooting that killed 27 individuals at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
After Gov. Ron DeSantis removed Israel from his position, he appointed Gregory Tony in his place. Tony is a former Coral Springs police sergeant. He was serving as the president of an active-shooter response training company prior to his appointment.
Israel and his attorneys filed the federal lawsuit where they alleging his rights were violated when
“The Florida Senate changed the rules and introduced what he claims is false information in order to remove him from office last month.”
— CBS4 Miami (@CBSMiami) November 25, 2019
According to the Miami Herald,
“The lawsuit, filed on Friday in U.S. District Court, seeks Israel’s reinstatement and argues that the Florida Senate vote to uphold Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to remove Israel from office was a purely partisan move because the governor failed to prove that Israel neglected his duties or was incompetent in response to the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.”
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 15, 2018
It reported that DeSantis, who was the newly elected Republican Governor, ran on a campaign platform that he promised if elected that he would remove Israel from his officer for incompetence.
DeSantis stated that the former school resource officer Scot Peterson along with other Broward County deputies failed to confront the shooter in Parkland under the leadership of Sherriff Israel.
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) June 5, 2019
Israel, who is a Democrat, was only halfway through his second term as Sherriff when DeSantis suspended him. Israel and his attorneys argue that it was strictly political based on Israel’s democratic affiliation.
DeSantis has stated that:
“The massacre might never have happened had Broward had better leadership in the sheriff’s department.”
DeSantis has also publicly criticized the department’s handling of a shooing that took place at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport in 2017 that left five people dead.
Before Israel’s dismissal DeSantis made comments to reporters regarding Israel explaining
“He failed in his duties to keep our families and children safe during the devastating shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14,2018. These incidents demonstrate Sheriff Israel’s repeated incompetence and neglect of duty.”
— CNN (@CNN) February 14, 2018
During the process the Florida Senate hired a conservative Republican lawyer along with former lawmaker Dudley Goodlette who conducted a trial in order to make a recommendation to the full Senate. The Senate has the sole power to remove an elected official from office.
After the trial according to the Miami Herald:
“Goodlette recommended that Israel be reinstated, concluding that the governor’s lawyers failed to prove their case that the actions of the deputies were evidence that Israel had acted with incompetence and negligence.”
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However, on Oct. 23 of last year the Senate voted 25-15, which came down mostly along party lines, to remove Israel rejecting Goodlette’s recommendation.
According to the law suit that was filed by Israel documents stated the Senate “ignored and rejected due process principles of notice and an opportunity to be heard by changing the legislative rules.”
— NewsRadio WFLA 🇺🇸 (@WFLANews) November 25, 2019
It also went on to explain that:
“It became apparent to the Senate legislative majority that the governor had failed to present facts supporting his suspension decision, the Senate introduced new information during a hearing of the Rules Committee and conducted a trial by ambush.”
That lawsuit alleges that the evidence:
“…relied on materially false information, speculation, and innuendo in reaching its decision to remove Sheriff Israel from office, all of which were not presented to Sheriff Israel in advance of the Senate proceeding.”
Israel’s attorney Ben Kuehne explained to reporters,
“The Senate charade was nothing more than a carefully scripted scheme to subvert due process by creating new allegations and presenting false facts to remove this Democrat from sheriff of Broward County as preparations for the 2020 election are under way.”
The lawsuit goes on to explain:
“In sum and substance, the suspension and removal proceedings were little more than a sham and mockery of fairness and due process, thereby subverting the will of the voters of Broward County who elected Sheriff Israel to a four-year term expiring in November 2020.”
— Spectrum Bay News 9 (@BN9) November 24, 2019
The Miami Herald has reported:
“This is the second lawsuit Israel has filed in his attempt to be reinstated to his former job. In March, he filed a quo warrant to petition challenging the governor’s authority to remove him. The case went to the Florida Supreme Court, which denied the petition.”
It is reported that Israel is running against Tony to get his position back in the upcoming 2020 election. He will be one of a large field of individuals running for the office. Five other Democrats, as well as Republican and an independent have also filed to run.
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