The sweepstakes to become the next elected sheriff of Broward County continues, as does the mudslinging and missteps by a couple of the candidates. Current Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony, who was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to replace disgraced Former Sheriff Scott Israel after the Florida Senate upheld his initial suspension after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting tragedy which took the lives of 17 innocent teachers and students.
Israel was blamed for the inactions of his deputies, including that of Deputy Scott Peterson, who refused to enter the building where the shooting took place. Legislatures and scores of Floridians were outraged over the glaring dysfunction and incompetent of the department during the shooting and the moments after. Shortly after the incident, then Gov. Rick Scott was so disillusioned by BSO lack of action and overall response to the incident, that he ordered state trooper details as added security at the school instead of Broward Office deputies.
Israel is now running in the 2020 presidential cycle to win back his seat in Broward. Being steadfast in his belief that he was wrongfully fired. In just the past couple of weeks, Sheriff Gregory Tony’s past has come to surface, a move that many believe Israel has orchestrated to diminish Tony in what is proving to be a very contentious Democratic Primary race.
The most poignant accusations made against Tony in the media is that he failed to disclose on a Coral Springs Police Department employment application his involvement in a shooting incident that occurred when he was a 14-year-old minor. Tony was found innocent after witness testimony. It has also been reported that Tony omitted past drug experimentations in another job application.
But now it appears that Israel himself has failed to disclose information deemed relevant of his prior law enforcement employment application.
On a 2004 FDLE application, Israel responded “NO” to the question “Ever Been A Plaintiff Or Defendant In A Court Action (Include Any Liens, Lawsuits, Bankruptcy, Domestic Violence Injunctions, Etc.)?” The FDLE application further asked, “Ever Been A Plaintiff Or Defendant In A Court Action (Include Any Liens, Lawsuits, Bankruptcy, Domestic Violence Injunctions, Etc.)?”
Scott signed the application and acknowledged the truth and accuracy of all of his responses. The attestation read in pertinent part, “I agree to these conditions and I hereby certify that all statements made by me on this application are true and complete.”
Scott, however, did indeed have prior liens against him. In 1990, Israel was subject to a claim of lien of $975 paced by The Tree Garden Condominium Association for an unpaid assessment. More substantially, in 1993, a $48,295 lien was levied against Israel by Glendale Federal Bank in a Foreclosure Judgment.
In addition to the liens, Scott was listed as a Defendant in 6 additional cases which he absolutely should have disclosed on his FDLE application. They are as follows:
- Hall v. Fort Lauderdale, Officer Israel and Officer Lemon, 1986 (Voluntary dismissal)
- Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services v. Israel, 1985 (Voluntary dismissal)
- Kaplan v. Fort Lauderdale and Israel, 1982 (dismissed for failure to show good cause)
- Lieder vs Israel, 1986 (paternity case, with filings through 2003)
- Tree Garden Condominium Association, Inc. vs. Tommie B. Butts, Jr., and Scott Israel, 1992 (return of title)
- Glendale Federal Bank, Federal Savings Bank vs. Tommie B Butts, Jr., Scott Israel, Tree Garden Condominium Association, Inc., and Melanie Lieder, 1993 (Foreclosure)
While many of these cases were ultimately dismissed, FDLE requires applicants to disclose all cases. Scott failed to do so. Scott Israel, if he is behind the accusations against Tony, should heed the advice of old proverb, “those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.” From the looks of it, Israel is living in a house made of thin, weak glass.