Any senator who would vote to reinstate Israel would “thumb his nose” at the families who lost loved ones in the Parkland school shooting, he told state legislators Tuesday.
DeSantis suspended Israel in January and replaced him with Greg Tony, a former Coral Springs police officer who has a background in active-shooter training.
The Florida Senate is charged with deciding whether Israel should be removed from office or reinstated.
“The failures of the former sheriff are well-documented,” said DeSantis, a Republican. “Why any senator would want to thumb his nose at the Parkland families and eject Sheriff Tony, who is doing a great job and has made history as the first African-American sheriff in the history of Broward, is beyond me.”
In his suspension order, the governor cited Israel for incompetence and neglect of duty. DeSantis said Israel “egregiously failed in his duties” by not properly training deputies and not maintaining “a culture of vigilance and thoroughness,” among other weaknesses.
Israel, a Democrat, is fighting the suspension, saying he did nothing that would rise to the level of incompetence or neglect of duty. His case is tentatively set for trial in Tallahassee the week of April 8.