Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Sheriff criticized over Parkland shooting response removed from office

Sheriff criticized over Parkland shooting response removed from office

DeSantis has tapped former Coral Springs Police Sgt. Gregory Tony as Israel's replacement.

DeSantis was on his way to a press conference where he was expected to announce that he was suspending and replacing Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

His words drew a large applause from those in attendance.

Seventeen students and staff were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School almost a year ago. Seven other deputies who arrived within minutes also failed to enter, even as officers from neighboring Coral Springs went into the building. Still, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the commission's chairman, and other law enforcement officials on the panel have said they didn't think Israel should be suspended.

Five BSO command staff members resigned from the force just prior to DeSantis' announcement: Undersheriff Stephen Kinsey, Col. Jack Dale, Col. James Polan, Maj.

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Undersheriff Stephen Kinsey and Maj. Kevin Shults cited personal reasons for their departures. Peterson instructed deputies to stay away from the building where the shootings took place, the draft said.

"The Members of the House of Representatives are thankful that the Governor's plane landed safely after reporting mechanical difficulties", Oliva, a Miami Lakes Republican, said in a statement. "It is my intention to embark on this enormous task to restore the confidence of families and residents of Broward County toward the Broward Sheriff's Office, which also requires that I fix the problems that exist".

Israel said then he would not resign.

"This was about politics, not about Parkland", said Israel, who is a Democrat.

The Florida Senate ultimately makes the decision whether an official is suspended after the governor has given the Senate a notice of suspension.

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His attorney, Stuart Kaplan, said the only person who should be held responsible for the tragedy in Parkland is gunman Nikolas Cruz. While campaigning, DeSantis said he would have dismissed Israel for his role in the deadly shooting.

"Effective immediately, I am officially suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for his repeated failures, incompetence and neglect of duty", DeSantis tweeted Friday.

Israel also discussed plans to get his title back after the Florida Senate reconvenes March 5.

Broward Sheriff's Office came under fire after a report last week was critical of its response to the shooting that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

"I have been in the community for a long time and one of the things I've learned is that BSO is a great organization if the not the finest we have in South Florida", he said.

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Those Parkland parents in attendance praised Tony's background and leadership, as did DeSantis. He said DeSantis was acting on behalf of the National Rifle Association, which quickly blamed the sheriff's office after the shooting.

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