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Smackdown: Florida Supreme Court Rules FL Gov Was Within His Rights To Suspend Loser Sheriff

Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP

Remember Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel who we all had to thank for his amazing leadership in the wake of the horrific Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland February of 2018. Well, it turns out that wasn’t the case. The tragedy, like so many that have been reported, could have been prevented. Federal, state, and local authorities knew shooter Nikolas Cruz was trouble—and not one agency did a thing. The FBI was tipped off—they never followed up on it. The local police were summoned…some 45 times to Cruz’s house. 


The kid was cutting himself after he reportedly broke up with his girlfriend in 2016. Oh, and Israel’s deputy assigned to keep the school safe never confronted Cruz. He waited outside the building allowing the carnage to continue. He faced a backlash from local deputies’ union, in which a no-confidence vote was held. Then, new Republican Gov. Ron De Santis finally suspended him for his incompetence. Israel blamed the NRA, but brought the governor’s office into court over the move

That was in early April and now the Florida Supreme Court has rendered a judgment: the governor was well within his rights to cast Israel aside (via Sun-Sentinel):

Suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel lost his fight Tuesday to have the Florida Supreme Court return him to duty.

Now, in all likelihood, it’s up to the voters of Broward County to return him to office — if they want him back.

The court ruled that Gov. Ron DeSantis had the constitutional authority to suspend Israel in January for his agency’s failure to adequately respond to mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland and the Fort Lauderdale airport.

The decision all but ends Israel’s attempt to get his job back before the 2020 election — the Republican-led Florida Senate is able to overrule the governor’s suspension.

“I hope and expect the Senate will look at the merits of the claim,” said Israel’s attorney, Ben Kuehne. “If they do, and do not act politically, then Sheriff Israel will be reinstated.”

Without Senate intervention, the former sheriff’s only chance of returning to his job lies with the voters of Broward County, who elected him in 2012 and re-elected him easily in 2016.


Both sides presented their cases before Broward Circuit Judge David Haimes earlier this month — Haimes ruled in favor of the governor. The removed sheriff’s attorneys appealed, and the case was fast-tracked to the state Supreme Court because of its legal significance


Oh yes, Israel plans to run again in 2020. This circus is not over.  

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