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Florida Senate upholds removal of Scott Israel, ex-sheriff blamed in Parkland shooting

Florida Senate upholds removal of Scott Israel, ex-sheriff blamed in Parkland shooting

by John Bacon and Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY  |  Published on October 25, 2019

The Florida Senate on Wednesday upheld the ouster of a former county sheriff accused of mishandling the response to the deadly Parkland school shooting.

The 25-15 vote for removal was no surprise in the GOP-controlled Senate, especially after the Rules Committee two days before had sided with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to dismiss Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

Israel, a Democrat, claimed he was deposed for political reasons, and he counted a key Republican among his supporters, who warned of the dangers of allowing the governor to remove another elected official from office.

Sen. Tom Lee, a Republican and former president of the Florida Senate, said Israel should be reinstated and that firing him would send the wrong signal about the government’s support of law enforcement.

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