On Friday afternoon, new Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, effective immediately.
DeSantis noted Israel’s record on a number of incidents, including the Parkland shooting last year.
“Sheriff Israel has repeatedly failed and has demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership. He failed to protect Floridians and visitors during the tragic Fort Lauderdale International Airport shooting in 2017,” DeSantis said on Friday. “He failed in his duties to keep our families and children safe during the devastating shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.
“These incidents demonstrate Sheriff’s Israel’s repeated incompetence and neglect of duty. The families of the victims deserve accountability,” DeSantis added. “It is my job as governor to ensure that the safety of our local communities, especially the safety of our children, is paramount. Government officials must be held accountable for their actions, and/or inactions. For these reasons, I am suspending Sheriff Israel from office effective immediately.”
DeSantis turned to Gregory Tony, a former Coral Springs Police sergeant, to replace Israel with his office noting that this makes Tony the first African-American to hold the post of Broward County sheriff.
“The people of Broward County deserve accountable, competent leaders who can safeguard our communities,” said DeSantis. “Gregory Tony will be a champion for Broward County who will work tirelessly to safeguard our schools and our streets while ensuring accountability within the sheriff’s office.”
“This is an enormous honor and privilege to be appointed Sheriff of Broward County,” said Tony. “It is my intention to embark on this enormous task to restore the confidence of families and residents of Broward County toward the Broward Sherriff’s Office, which also requires that I fix the problems that exist. I thank Governor Ron DeSantis for this honor and I commit to faithfully fulfilling my duties to this office.”
Israel was first elected to post in 2012.