Florida Senate Permanently Removes Scott Israel As Broward County Sheriff
The controversial former sheriff of Broward County, Scott Israel, was permanently removed from his position as sheriff by the Florida Senate on Wednesday.
Israel was removed in a 25-15 vote. He had already been suspended from his position by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. His removal by the Senate is final and ensures the beleaguered sheriff will have no chance to continue in office.
Democrats mostly voted along party lines to reinstate Israel, while Florida Republicans voted to permanently remove him.
Sheriff Israel became the target of criticism after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February 2018. One of his Broward County Deputies assigned as a school resource officer, Scot Peterson, declined to respond to an active shooter in an incident where 17 students were killed by a homicidal gunman. Peterson is currently facing criminal charges for his neglect of his duties as a police officer.
After the shooting, Sheriff Israel briefly became a vocal critic of the Second Amendment and gun rights. Israel criticized the NRA and demanded an “assault weapons” ban in a CNN town hall.
When the failure of his agency to even attempt to respond to the massacre was revealed to the public, Floridians were outraged by the outspoken sheriff’s conduct. Furious citizens designated the Broward County Sheriff’s Department under his leadership “Cowards of Broward.” DeSantis pledged to use the governor’s powers to remove him from office during his 2018 campaign.
In a statement, Governor DeSantis heralded the legislature’s removal of Israel from office. “I hope the outcome provides some measure of relief to the Parkland families that have been doggedly pursuing accountability.”
Israel claims he’s going to run for the office of Broward County Sheriff in 2020 once again, despite his removal from office. He slammed the removal process as a “political sham” after the vote on Wednesday.