'Mechanical issue' diverts flight bringing DeSantis to South Florida

Lester Mason
January 12, 2019

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel makes remarks following newly sworn-in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' announcement of Israel's suspension.

"These incidents demonstrate Sheriff's Israel's repeated incompetence and neglect of duty", the order said.

"The neglect of duty and incompetence that was connected to the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has been well documented, and I have no interest in dancing on Scott Israel's political grave", DeSantis said.

"The massacre might never have happened had Broward had better leadership in the sheriff's department", DeSantis said during a news conference in Fort Lauderdale.

Former Deputy Scot Peterson was derelict in his duty on February 14, 2018, failed to act consistently with his training and fled to a position of personal safety while Cruz shot and killed MSDHS students and staff. Peterson was in a position to engage Cruz and mitigate further harm to others, and he willfully decided not to do so.

"The families of the victims deserve accountability", De Santis said. It is my job as Governor to ensure that the safety of our local communities, especially the safety of our children, is paramount.

He is scheduled to make a statement on holding government officials accountable at 4:30 p.m.


DeSantis appointed a former Coral Springs sergeant, Gregory Tony, 40, to replace Israel. Governor DeSantis was forced to use the plane because former Governor Rick Scott sold the state air fleet and blocked lawmakers from buying a new plane previous year. In the days after the carnage, reports revealed how the Broward County Sheriff's Office ignored several red flags, and were guilty of several missteps during the actual shooting. Israel said he served for six years.

"They ain't the Florida State that you just saw this (past) year", DeSantis joked. Tony, a Democrat like Israel, will fill the remainder of Israel's term, unless the ousted sheriff is successful in fighting his suspension.

Tony called his appointment an "enormous honor and privilege" and vowed to "fix the problems that exist".

Israel is expected to contest his suspension. Rick Scott, had refused to suspend Israel, saying he wanted to wait until investigations into the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead were complete before deciding. Israel told them he didn't want deputies to think they had to conduct suicide missions.

"I have served with many of these men and women through my law enforcement career, and they're not self-serving", he said.

Though Sheriff Israel claimed he showed exceptional leadership, the report stated that his subordinates were not properly trained while using outdated radio technology that hindered communication during the shooting. Even before a state fact-finding commission empaneled to review the tragedy released its findings, DeSantis was criticizing Israel on the campaign trail.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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