Senate Takes Up Broward Sheriff's Suspension Case

Oct 21, 2019

Former Gov. Rick Scott, Broward Superintendent Rob Runcie and Broward Sheriff Scott Israel discuss Parkland school shooting (2018).
Credit PBS NewsHour screenshot

The Florida Senate is weighing whether to reinstate Broward’s suspended sheriff. Governor Ron DeSantis removed Israel from office earlier this year over what he calls the department’s bungled response to last year’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

Family members of Parkland victims want the Senate to keep Scott Israel out of office. Ahead of Monday's hearing, they held a press conference at the capitol.

Israel's lawyers and some Democrats are objecting to the inclusion of a memo by the Commission for Law Enforcement Accreditation. The memo says the commission did not reaccredit the department based on its response to last year’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but Senate President Bill Galvano says there are no rules that say the chamber can’t consider the affidavit.

“This is one where each senator has to find it in his/her conscience as to what to do. This is not a caucus issue, it’s an individual senator issue and everything that is part of the record is available to the senators to base their decision on," he said. 

Israel’s attorney is also objecting to the participation of a private lawyer representing Governor Ron DeSantis who has opposed a special master's ruling recommending Israel be reinstated. 

“I have faith in the senators that they’re going to rise to the occasion, look at everything and adhere to the standard which is what in their conscience is best for the people of Florida," Galvano said, downplaying whether DeSantis could influence the Senate's decision.