Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Embattled Florida Sheriff Scott Israel Suspended for Response to Deadly Parkland Shooting

Embattled Florida Sheriff Scott Israel Suspended for Response to Deadly Parkland Shooting

The governor replaced Israel with former Coral Springs Police Sgt. Gregory Tony, 40, who has a background in active-shooter training and becomes the first black sheriff in Broward County's history.

DeSantis announced the decision to remove Israel at the Broward County Sheriff's headquarters just after 4:30 p.m., according to CBS4 Miami.

Minutes after DeSantis' announcement, Israel said he would fight the suspension.

"The facts do not warrant that Sheriff Israel in any way was incompetent in connection with this horrendous shooting", he said.

Israel was criticized for his lackluster leadership in the aftermath of last February's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 people dead.

A state commission investigating the massacre recently concluded Israel's changes to the department's active shooter policy may have contributed to some deputies' inaction during the school shooting.

To be expected, Israel was not happy. Israel has said none of those contacts warranted an arrest.

Yesterday the Governor made clear that he does what he says: he has a bold vision to fix Florida's environment and improve our water quality.

DeSantis' predecessor, Rick Scott, famously sold two state planes when he came into office in 2011.

Said Israel: "Now the National Rifle Association controls the governor's actions and is trying to control law enforcement in Broward County".

Among several damning conclusions, the report found that the deputy assigned to the school - Scot Peterson - "failed to act consistent with his training and fled to a position of personal safety" during the shooting.

Kaplan said they are exploring their options and developing a strategy.

"Needed a fresh start at the South Florida Water Management District", Gov. DeSantis said on Thursday. According to the panel, that created confusion and led to inaction by eight deputies responding to the high school shooter. "Scott Israel misused his authority and abused his public trust by politicizing the nation's largest fully accredited Sheriff's Office for his own political ambitions".

"I do believe we've got the right guy", Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the shooting, said.

"I've given wonderful leadership to this agency", Israel said on CNN, weeks after the shooting.

Under Florida law, the governor can suspend elected officials for criminal activity, misfeasance, incompetence or neglect of duty.

Israel had faced fierce criticism for almost a year over his agency's response to the rampage that claimed the lives of 14 students and three staff members. The sheriff said then the vote reflected only "a small number" of BSO employees and the union representing the vast majority of employees "solidly supports the leadership of this agency".

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