Today we witnessed an event which has become exceedingly rare in contemporary politics and government- a small semblance of accountability was visited on a public official.
At a press conference outside the BSO headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Governor Ron DeSantis removed Sheriff Scott Israel from office and appointed former Coral Springs police Sgt. Gregory Tony to replace him.
Israel was removed from his post for overseeing what was a complete dereliction of duty by the Broward Sheriff’s Office- both leading up to and during the shooting massacre that left 17 high school students dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last February.
“The massacre might never have happened had Broward had better leadership in the sheriff’s department,”- Governor Ron DeSantis
In weeks and months following the shooting, Scott Israel’s arrogance and unwillingness to take any responsibility for his department’s horrendous response to the incident only exacerbated his failures. Refusing to acknowledge any shred of truth in DeSantis’ action, Israel called his suspension “unjustified” and promised to fight the decision in court.
“Let me be clear — I wholeheartedly reject the statements in the governor’s executive order. They are lacking both in legal merit and valid factual basis. There was no wrongdoing on my part. I served the country honorably.” – Scott Israel
Were we living in a saner society with leaders who were serious about taking full responsibility and being accountable for any failures that occurred on their watch, Israel and many other Broward County public officials, including Supervisor of Broward Schools Robert Runcie should have all admitted failure and immediately resigned following the incident.
Instead of acknowledging that a failed federally inspired school disciplinary policy championed by former president Barack Obama and adopted by Broward Country enabled school shooter Nikolas Cruz to avoid being committed to a psychiatric facility, Israel and Runcie pointed fingers and immediately politicized this horrific act of violence before the blood of the victims was cleaned off the floor.
Rumors are now circulating that Superintendent Runcie could be the next public official relieved of his position by Governor DeSantis.
We applaud the no-nonsense decisive action of Governor DeSantis, and let this removal serve as a clear reminder that any public official, regardless of party, must be held to account when they violate the public trust and fail to discharge their duty to serve and protect.