The Governor and others were on their way to Broward County where they were expected to announce the suspension and replacement of Sheriff Scott Israel. By April, DeSantis told supporters he would have suspended Israel if he had been governor at the time of the shooting.
New Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) blamed Israel's "repeated failures, incompetence and neglect of duty".
"The massacre might never have happened had Broward had better leadership in the sheriff's department", DeSantis said during a news conference outside the Broward Sheriff's Office headquarters in Fort Lauderdale on Friday. DeSantis' Republican predecessor, now-U.S. Sen.
Tony was recommended by Andrew Pollack, father of the late Meadow Pollack, who was killed in the February 14, 2018, Parkland school shooting. It was reported in the wake of the shooting that one of Israel's deputies, Scot Peterson, did not enter the school as the massacre took place.
As early as March 1, DeSantis called for Israel to resign, amid revelations of missed red-flags and a slow response to the shooting.
The Florida Senate ultimately makes the decision whether an official is suspended after the governor has given the Senate a notice of suspension. "The governor promised as a candidate - well before he had any facts of the investigation, well before the commission even began their work - that he would remove me from office".
While Israel's deputies apprehended him within 72 seconds, the draft of a county report said Israel and others didn't control the chaos, leaving passengers huddled in fear for hours.
According to the Miami Herald, a state panel investigating the shooting found that sheriff's deputies weren't properly trained, and that they took cover to protect themselves instead of pursuing the shooter.
They said the policy as written provided deputy's discretion on whether to confront the shooter. He said DeSantis was acting on behalf of the National Rifle Association, which quickly blamed the sheriff's office after the shooting.
Under Florida law, the governor can suspend elected officials for criminal activity, misfeasance, incompetence or neglect of duty. "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've given fantastic leadership to this agency", Israel said on CNN, weeks after the shooting.
He was joined on Friday by some parents of slain students at the high school who supported his move. 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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