Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who bragged about his leadership during the Parkland, Florida, shooting, is facing a vote of no confidence from the union.
Jeff Bell, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association president, announced Friday that members of the union would move forward with the vote, which began Friday night and will end April 26, for the first time in the union’s history.
“This has never been done in the history of BSO. So, is it symbolic more than anything? Yes it is,” Bell told the Miami Herald. “However it will send a strong message. He’s gone off the radar. We’re like a ship out at sea with no power right now.”
Bell said the no confidence vote would let Israel know the union is not pleased with his handling of both the Parkland shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and an upcoming union contract.
The sheriff, who holds an elected office, has been slammed for his department’s response to the February 14 shooting.
Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran and many others criticized him for ignoring warning signs that shooter Nikolas Cruz could be a danger to the public, failing to release surveillance video of the attack to show how law enforcement responded to the shooting, and other issues.
Israel, who was elected sheriff in 2012, called the union vote “a shameless ploy by a union boss to get a 6.5 percent raise [for union members] when everybody else got a 3 percent raise.”
The sheriff added that union members were exploiting the Parkland tragedy for political gain.
Although Israel is an elected official, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has the power to suspend the sheriff, as the position is not subject to impeachment under the Florida state Constitution.