Under a bill filed by a Florida state lawmaker, the embattled police officer assigned to protect a Broward County high school — whose actions during last year’s school shooting spree have been called into question — would lose his retirement benefits.
Former Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, who retired with an $8,700 monthly pension amid accusations of negligence following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had served as the school’s resource officer.
State Rep. Spencer Roach, a North Fort Myers Republican, cited in his bill multiple failures associated with Peterson’s response during the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting that claimed the lives of 17 students and faculty members.
“There is ample evidence that Deputy Scot Peterson has contravened his oath of office as set forth in Article II, 47 section 5 of the Florida Constitution, to ‘…faithfully perform 48 the duties’ of a deputy sheriff of Broward County, Florida,” Roach’s bill states in part.
Roach began his first term in the Florida state Legislature in January after winning the seat in November.
Roach told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that Peterson deserves to lose his pension because he “was derelict in his duty.”
“It was his duty to protect those people, he failed to do that,” Roach told the newspaper, noting that his bill is “about accountability.”
President Donald Trump, in the aftermath of the tragedy, publicly scolded Peterson, calling him a “coward,” to which Peterson responded during a TODAY Show appearance that “it’s easy to make comments and say things in Washington, DC.”
“He doesn’t know. He wasn’t there.” Parkland school resource officer Scot Peterson responds to comments President Trump made about him after the school shooting, including when Trump said he thought Peterson didn’t love the kids pic.twitter.com/bWaETluVjo
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 6, 2018
Roach took to Facebook shortly after he filed his bill:
“Today I filed a bill to strip the $104,424 annual pension from disgraced Deputy Scot Peterson, the ‘coward of Broward.’
“He was derelict in his duty and hid in a stairwell for 48 minutes while 34 people were shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. His duty was to protect them, and he willfully chose not to do so. In the military, this is punishable by death, but in Florida we award a six-figure pension. This is wrong.”
Read Roach’s bill: