It’s been evident since about two days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that the clown show that was run by Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel’s band of incompetents not only failed in the run-up to the shooting but badly bungled the response, costing the lives of students and teachers in the school.
While it was always within the power of former Governor (now Senator) Rick Scott to remove the incompetent sheriff, Scott never had the political courage to do that. Not even after the release of the scathing Parkland Commission report.
But today, Ron DeSantis was sworn in as the new governor of the Sunshine State. And what a difference a change of occupants in the top office makes. According to the Miami New Times:
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has informed numerous high-ranking BSO members that he expects to be removed from his position and will fight to get his job back, according to three sources close to the agency.
The jaw-droppingly ineffectual Israel isn’t going quietly.
As Ron DeSantis prepares to be sworn in as Florida’s governor today, those sources say Israel has been bracing for his removal and has told underlings he will appeal it, a move that will likely lead to a trial in the Florida Senate.
This from a cop who’s done nothing but try to deflect blame (onto underlings, the NRA, anyone he could think of) for his own mistakes and was happy to tell anyone who would listen what a wonderful job he’s done.
After the shooting, Israel wrote in a letter to Gov. Rick Scott that BSO school resource officer Scott Peterson, who was allowed to resign after the shooting, was the only deputy at Stoneman Douglas while shots were being fired. A simple check of radio transmissions, however, showed several deputies responding to the school failed to go inside while gunshots sounded.
At the same time, Israel touted his own “amazing leadership” and compared himself to a general who is not responsible for the actions of individual soldiers.
So much for ‘the buck stops here.’
Israel’s removal would be only the beginning, says Deputy Jeff Bell, the BSO union chief and member of DeSantis’ transition team. The move “would remove an incompetent sheriff,” Bell says. “But if you’re looking to fix the agency and put it on the right track, it does nothing to do that.”
He says Israel’s numerous imported cronies and political hires need to be swept out, a sentiment echoed by retired BSO Sgt. Willie Jones, who finished second to Israel in the 2016 Democratic primary. “Top administrators must be looked at real quickly and very closely,” says Jones, who plans to run again in 2020. “You must restore the trust to the community to know that the sheriff’s office is going to do the things they need to do to make them safe.”
That’s going to be a tough row to hoe.