Suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, much like former Broward County Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes did, is taking the fight to Governor DeSantis by vowing to combat what he feels is an unjust misuse of power.
Earlier this month, Governor DeSantis said that the Sheriff “has repeatedly failed and has demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership, repeated incompetence and neglect of duty.” In turn, Sheriff Israel was suspended by executive order and was replaced by Gregory Tony who will serve out the remainder of Israel’s term.
The suspended Sheriff now has a legal defense fund that will be fighting Governor DeSantis’ executive order and, Israel’s lawyer, Ben Kuehne, commented on the defense fund, saying that constituents choose who their sheriff is, not the governor.
In a statement with the Miami Herald over the weekend, Kuehne said that the fund has “attained money and will expect the funding to continue to be raised. The names and contribution amounts are not public at this time, but fighting the state of Florida and defending the sheriff’s suspension is likely to be an expensive proposition.”
Kuehne added “that it is in former sheriff Scott Israel’s best interest that he has sufficient resources to make his case against his suspension, so I will not be discussing contribution amounts or those who have contributed.”
Sheriff Israel has blasted Governor DeSantis’ decision since the suspension, saying that it’s a politically motivated stunt and that it is “a massive political power grab, by the governor to subvert the will of our Broward County voters.”
Kuehne asserted that “the funds will be 100 percent dedicated to the mounting legal costs, whatever those expenses involve.”
Israel has since been criticized many, including the president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, Jeff Bell, who slammed Israel as someone who “thinks that he’s the victim — not the 17 people deceased in Parkland.”