Whitney Tipton | Contributor
A judge dismissed Broward County Sheriff Scott Israels lawsuit Thursday challenging his suspension by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the wake of the Parkland school shooting.
DeSantis had accused Israel of failing to prevent the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Feb. 14, 2018 that left 17 people dead. The Republican governor issued an executive order removing Israel from duty in January.
Israel sued to overturn the removal, claiming DeSantis had overstepped his constitutional authority. Broward Circuit Court Judge David Haimes ruled the order was compliant with Floridas Constitution, according to The Associated Press.
“I am pleased that the court recognizes my authority as governor to suspend a public official for reasons of neglect of duty and incompetence,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement. “Now, I will ask the Senate to move forward with the process of the formal removal of Scott Israel. Broward County deserves professional law enforcement leadership that will safeguard the best interests of the community and work diligently for the protection of life.”
Scott Israel, sheriff of Broward County, (L) and Florida Gov. Rick Scott speak to the media as they visit Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting at the school killed 17 people on Feb. 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Critics and parents of the slain students pressured DeSantis to remove Israel after several revelations after the shooting, starting with the sheriffs department changing its policy just before the shooting from “shall” to “may” confront shooters.” Eight deputy sheriffs pointed to the new policy to justify not confronting the gunman.
It was also learned that Scot Peterson, the deputy assigned to guard the school, had not entered the building during the shooting, but rather took cover in the parking lot. Additionally, the sheriffs office had received two previous calls about the alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz, and ignored both. Authorities charged Cruz with 17 counts of first-degree murder and he remains incarcerated. (RELATED: Does The Parkland Shooter Deserve To Die? Broward County High School Pulls AssignmentRead More – Source