Scott Israel's Attorney: Documents In Peterson Trial Could Be 'Favorable' In Sheriff's Hearing

Jun 10, 2019

In this Jan. 11, 2019 file photo suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, center, leaves a news conference surrounded by supporters after new Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended him, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Credit Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

Suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel’s lawyer wants access to materials that led to the arrest of former deputy Scot Peterson. He’s facing charges for failing to act during the Parkland school shooting last year. Israel is set to go before the Senate Special Master for an appeal hearing next week.

Israel’s attorney Ben Kuehne says Peterson’s arrest, notably documents and witness statements from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation, could impact Israel’s hearing.

“We believe that there may be significant information in the FDLE files, that ultimately become the state attorney’s files, that are favorable to Sheriff Israel,” Kuehne said Monday.

Kuehne adds he expects documents to become public during the pre-trial discovery phase of Peterson’s case that could run counter to Governor Ron DeSantis’ claims. DeSantis suspended Israel from his post for incompetence and negligence in the wake of the February 2018 shooting that claimed the lives of 17 Parkland students and staff. Another 17 people were injured.

“The arrest warrant affidavit provides in various paragraphs, the extent of the training received by then-deputy Scot Peterson regarding use of force, as well as regarding active shooting scenarios – that seems to be inconsistent with the Governor’s statement of particulars,” Kuehne told the Senate Special Master.

Nicholas Primrose, the Governor’s attorney, says Israel’s suspension hearing stands entirely separate from Peterson’s criminal case.

“First, to suggests that somehow the outcome of what happens with Scot Petersen’s criminal trial has any impact on the Senate’s review of whether Scott Israel neglected his duty or was in competent is – they’re two separate issues,” Primrose said.

Senate Special Master Dudley Goodlette has asked Israel’s attorney to provide a written brief by end of day Tuesday, explaining why materials in Peterson’s case would affect Israel’s Senate hearing.