Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed out embattled Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Friday afternoon.
The 62-year-old defended himself against the allegations of his failures after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day in 2018.
“Sadly, this suspension is not about what occurred on Feb. 14,” Israel said during a press conference outside New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, moments after learning about the suspension order signed by DeSantis. “This was about politics, not about Parkland."
With his wife and supporters of the faith community by his side, Israel made it clear he is not leaving easy.
“There was no wrongdoing on my part," he said. "I served the county honorably. False narratives may continue. But in the court, only the facts matter.”
Israel rejects DeSantis’ executive order, saying it's lacking factual basis.
His next step is to fight it in federal or state court, or going before the Florida Senate.
“Let’s understand this suspension for what it really is: a massive political power grab by the governor to subvert the will of the Broward county voters,” Israel said.
After expressing his sympathies for the families of the Parkland victims, Israel insisted that he served his community and did not fail his duty.
“I look forward to returning soon as sheriff to complete the mission we began in 2013,” he said.
Israel’s attorney, Stuart Kaplan, said not only would the former sheriff fight the order, he plans to run for re-election in 2020.