Florida Senate Finally Decides Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel's Fate

Posted: Oct 23, 2019 9:38 PM
Florida Senate Finally Decides Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel's Fate

Source: Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP

Former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel became a household name after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last February. It was revealed that, under his leadership, his team showed up at Stoneman Douglas during the rampage but failed to go into the school while the gunman opened fired. The deputy in question, Scot Peterson, was arrested for seven counts of neglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury.

When Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) took office earlier this year, he suspended Israel and, naturally, Israel blamed the NRA. Israel challenged DeSantis' decision and the Florida Supreme Court ultimately upheld his suspension.

The disgruntled sheriff then decided to "job shop" and attempt to take another top law enforcement position, this time as the Police Chief in Opa-locka. That job lead never panned out, at which point he vowed to run again in 2020. His reason? He believed the people in Broward County would re-elect him. 

On Wednesday, after hours of testimony and debate, the Florida Senate decided to permanently remove Israel. The vote was decided 25 to 15, mostly along party lines. According to the Sun SentinelDemocrats generally favored reinstating Israel, while Republicans wanted him ousted. All five ouf the senators from Broward County voted to reinstate Israel despite Parkland family's wishes.

Both the Governor and Lt. Governor applauded the decision.

“I thank the Florida Senate for tending to this matter. I hope the outcome provides some measure of relief to the Parkland families that have been doggedly pursuing accountability," DeSantis said in statement. 

“Today, the Florida Senate voted on the side of accountability. During that tragic day on February 14, 2018, Scott Israel not only neglected his responsibilities and endangered the public’s safety, but more importantly, failed our children," Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez said in a statement. I applaud the Senate for their thoughtful approach and appreciate their courage in voting for the people of Broward and honoring the victims’ families with their decision.”

Parkland families, despite being on opposing sides of the gun control debate, also thanked the senators for permanently ousting Israel.

In a statement, Israel said "politics won" and the people of Broward County's "vote has been stolen and the results of our 2016 election have been overturned."

"The process they used to steal your vote was a sham and by the Governor's own admission simply 'political.' These politicians in Tallahassee ignored or dismissed the advice of the previous Governor, the commission charged with investigating the Parkland murders, the chair of that commission and even their own judge on the matter," Israel said.

This post has been updated with an additional tweet.