Sunday, Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran announced in a post on his Twitter account he was calling on Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) to suspend Broward County, FL Sheriff Scott Israel for “incompetence and dereliction of duty.”
“Today I sent the following letter to @FLGovScott Asking that he suspend Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for incompetence and dereliction of duty. I was honored to be joined by 73 Republican colleagues,” he wrote in the tweet.
Accompanying that tweet was a copy of the letter.
Today I sent the following letter to @FLGovScott Asking that he suspend Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for incompetence and dereliction of duty. I was honored to be joined by 73 Republican colleagues. You can read the letter attached here. pic.twitter.com/exZVwGQ3DR
— Richard Corcoran (@richardcorcoran) February 25, 2018
Corcoran, a potential 2018 gubernatorial candidate, accused Israel of ignoring warning signs from alleged Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz, and said Israel had failed to “maintain a culture of alertness, vigilance, and throughness amongst his deputies.”
Under the Florida state constitution, Scott has the authority to suspend county sheriffs given they are elected officials not subject to impeachment.
Relevant portions are as follows:
Article IV, Section 7 of the Florida Constitution provides:
SECTION 7. Suspensions; filling office during suspensions.—(a) By executive order stating the grounds and filed with the custodian of state records, the governor may suspend from office any state officer not subject to impeachment, any officer of the militia not in the active service of the United States, or any county officer, for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or commission of a felony, and may fill the office by appointment for the period of suspension. The suspended officer may at any time before removal be reinstated by the governor.
Under Article VIII, Section 1(d), a sheriff is a county officer
(d) COUNTY OFFICERS. There shall be elected by the electors of each county, for terms of four years, a sheriff, a tax collector, a property appraiser, a supervisor of elections, and a clerk of the circuit court; except, when provided by county charter or special law approved by vote of the electors of the county, any county officer may be chosen in another manner therein specified, or any county office may be abolished when all the duties of the office prescribed by general law are transferred to another office. When not otherwise provided by county charter or special law approved by vote of the electors, the clerk of the circuit court shall be ex officio clerk of the board of county commissioners, auditor, recorder and custodian of all county funds.
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