Governor issues witness list, more details of upcoming case against suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ lawyers plan to call up to nine employees of the Broward Sheriff’s Office as witnesses at the upcoming trial of suspended Sheriff Scott Israel before the Florida Senate.

The sheriff is appealing the governor’s decision to suspend him from his $187,000-a-year job for neglect of duty and incompetence as a result of the mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High last year and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in 2017.

DeSantis suspended Israel on Jan. 11, four days after taking office and nearly a year after the worst mass shooting ever at a Florida school.

During his campaign last fall, DeSantis had criticized former Gov. Rick Scott for not suspending Israel, who said he provided “amazing leadership” in a CNN town hall meeting less than two weeks after the massacre.

The full 40-member Senate will decide whether to uphold DeSantis’ suspension and remove Israel from office or reinstate him.

Kuehne, Israel’s attorney, said last week that DeSantis‘ suspension order was politically motivated and that the will of the voters who re-elected Israel to a second four-year term in 2016 should be respected. The attorney could not be reached Wednesday.

Israel, a Democrat, has faced a torrent of criticism for his handling of the preparation and response to the mass shooting at the high school in Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018, that killed 14 students and three faculty members.

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