After suing over his removal, Scott Israel seeks to block Gov’s motion to dismiss
Without emotion: Attorneys for suspended Sheriff Scott Israel says to ‘focus on the facts’ in his Senate hearing.

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Israel is also running to regain his post in 2020.

Former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says a U.S. District Court judge should not dismiss his lawsuit alleging he was improperly removed from his post.

Israel sued over his removal in November. The 32-page federal lawsuit argues Israel’s removal violated his due process rights.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Senate President Bill Galvano responded with a motion to dismiss the case in January, arguing the Senate vote to remove Israel is immune from judicial review.

In a response posted Monday, Israel urged Judge William Stafford to rule in his favor and allow the case to continue.

“Until Sheriff Israel’s suspension and removal, never has the Governor of the State of Florida suspended an elected constitutional officer from office without founded evidentiary support based on proven facts,” wrote Israel’s attorney, Ben Kuehne.

“Yet, the Governor did just that in suspending Sheriff Israel from office, despite the absence of factual and evidentiary support.”

DeSantis suspended Israel in January, signing an Executive Order citing the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s (BSO) handling of the shootings at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The Senate was then tasked with reviewing the Governor’s decision.

Galvano appointed former lawmaker Dudley Goodlette as special master in the case. After reviewing the evidence and hearing from Israel and others, Goodlette found that the Governor’s order did not sufficiently justify Israel’s removal.

His recommendation was not binding, however, and the Senate voted to formally remove Israel during a Special Session in October.

The choice to ignore Goodlette’s findings came up once again in Israel’s response to the motion to dismiss.

“When the Governor opposed the special master’s ruling, the Florida Senate relied on suspicion, innuendo, and unnoticed speculation to declare that Sheriff Israel must be removed from office,” Kuehne argued.

The resulting removal, now challenged by Sheriff Israel, offends notions of due process and fundamental fairness.”

Israel previously pushed for the courts to intervene prior to the Senate’s final ruling. That effort failed. It’s likely Israel will face similar roadblocks this time around. The state Constitution vests the Senate with authority to review the Governor’s suspension decisions.

As he continues his court push, Israel has also filed to run in the 2020 contest to regain his old job. He’ll compete against several candidates including current Sheriff Gregory Tony, who was appointed by DeSantis to replace Israel following the suspension.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].

One comment

  • gary

    February 5, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    This guy is a relentless turd! Why do all male demoRATS Mrs.Doubtfire without the wig and dress?

Comments are closed.


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