Ousted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has lost his bid to be reinstated as Broward County’s top cop. Israel had been suspended by incoming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this year for his department’s failures during the Parkland shooting.
Israel had sued DeSantis, arguing that the governor did not have the right to remove him from office. A Broward County judge ruled earlier today that Governor DeSantis had every legal right to fire Israel.
According to the Sun-Sentinel:
Broward Circuit Judge David Haimes did not indicate whether he agreed with the governor, but he affirmed that DeSantis was legally justified when he replaced Israel with acting Sheriff Gregory Tony in January.
“I am pleased that the court recognizes my authority as governor to suspend a public official for reasons of neglect of duty and incompetence,” DeSantis said in a news release Thursday. “Now, I will ask the Senate to move forward with the process of the formal removal of Scott Israel.
“Broward County deserves professional law enforcement leadership that will safeguard the best interests of the community and work diligently for the protection of life.”
Israel came under criticism after the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. In suspending him, DeSantis said lessons that should have been learned from the 2017 shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport never were implemented, leading to a disorganized response in Parkland that cost lives and eroded trust in the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Scott Israel has vowed to continue fighting his suspension.
Former Sheriff Scot Peterson’s refusal to enter the building upon learning of the shooting and the breakdowns in command that followed led to the deaths of seventeen people. Children died because of Scott Israel’s lack of leadership.
Scott Israel does not deserve to get his job back.