‘Mechanical issues’ with DeSantis plane delay Sheriff Israel suspension announcement

House Speaker Jose Oliva

House Speaker Jose Oliva

By April, DeSantis told supporters he would have suspended Israel if he had been governor at the time of the shooting.

In his press conference today, DeSantis said, "The neglect of duty and the incompetence that was connected to the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has been well-documented, and I have no interest in dancing on Scott Israel's political grave".

The governor's executive order [PDF] excoriates Israel not just over the horrific Parkland shooting, but for similar failures and lack of leadership regarding the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting in 2017.

DeSantis will make the announcement at the Broward Sheriff's Office headquarters on Friday afternoon, sources told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas public safety commission found that officials involved with the response to the shooting, including sheriff's deputies and high school assistant principals, offered accounts that contradicted surveillance video and other evidence. 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.

Flanked by his supporters and his wife Susan, Israel said he will be fighting his suspension.

Israel said then he would not resign.

Israel said he would fight the suspension in court and before the Florida Senate. If Israel challenges the suspension, the state Senate would hold a trial and could either fire or reinstate him.

"The Members of the House of Representatives are thankful that the Governor's plane landed safely after reporting mechanical difficulties", said Oliva, R-Miami. He said he didn't want to deputies to undertake suicide missions.

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The following month, the Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association took a largely symbolic vote of no confidence against Israel, leading union President Jeff Bell to subsequently ask Gov. Scott to remove or suspend the sheriff.

DeSantis, a Republican elected to the office in November and sworn in earlier this week, criticized the sheriff during his campaign and had signaled that he would have likely removed Israel from office.

"I've given awesome leadership to this agency", Israel said on CNN, weeks after the shooting.

Since the Parkland shooting, in which 14 students and three staff members were killed, Israel and his office have been criticized for their response to the shooting.

Tony's appointment makes him the first black sheriff in the history of Broward County.

"They had all those other people that reacted very similar so to me that's more of a systemic issue than it is an individual acting on his own", she said.

Israel, a Democrat, has served as the elected sheriff of the agency with 5,800 employees since 2013.

The statement added, "The families of the victims deserve accountability".

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