Scott Israel: Lawmaker’s letter ‘riddled’ with errors
Without emotion: Attorneys for suspended Sheriff Scott Israel says to ‘focus on the facts’ in his Senate hearing.

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The Broward County Sheriff says a letter from a state lawmaker calling for his resignation after a mass school shooting is “riddled with factual errors, unsupported gossip and falsehoods.”

Sheriff Scott Israel issued his response in a letter to Gov. Rick Scott that the sheriff’s office released to the news media late Saturday.

Israel’s letter responded individually to three points that state Rep. Bill Hager made. They included how his deputies responded to the shooting and the number of calls his office received from the home where the shooting suspect lived.

“Only one law enforcement officer was ever on the campus — at any time — during the attack,” Israel writes, “Deputy Scot Peterson.” He noted that Peterson had “received the training, but clearly did not follow the protocols.”

The Sheriff also pushes back on accusations over the visits Broward County deputies had made to school shooter Nikolas Cruz‘s home.

Israel wrote: ” BSO had a total of 23 calls for service involving Nikolas Cruz or his family … 18 of those involved Nikolas directly (the others involved his brother). Of the 18, nearly all but two involved routine calls from the mother relating to parenting issues (her sons were fighting; her son was banging pool equipment against the house; etc). BSO released the entire list of specifics of each call for service, and none were arrestable offenses.”

“It is patently obvious that Hager has zero comprehension of law enforcement,” Israel added, referencing additional problems with the mass shooting at the Fort Lauderdale Airport last year.

“The ‘problems’ Rep. Hager referenced were the areas BSO itself identified in our own internal After‐Action Report as needing improvement,” Israel’s letter continued. “And, in the interests of full public transparency, BSO widely shared copies of the report. As an aside, Hager also failed to note that BSO apprehended the killer in the FLL airport attack within 80 seconds of the first shot being fired.”

In his letter, Israel said he “would urge Rep. Hager to publicly apologize for helping to (spread) this false gossip and misinformation.”

In a letter sent Saturday to Scott, Hager cited the resignation of a school resource officer who didn’t enter the freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when the shooting started on Feb. 14. Israel has since said that he’s investigating claims by Coral Springs police officers that several of his deputies didn’t enter the building during the shooting.

As Governor, Scott has the power to remove a sheriff for neglect of duty and incompetence.

Also, late Saturday night, state Rep. Jay Fant became the second lawmaker to call on Israel to resign.

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Here is Israel’s letter to Scott:

Scott Israel letter to Rick Scott by Peter Schorsch on Scribd

Material from The Associated Press and the Palm Beach Post was used in this report.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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