Commissioners deny Broward Sheriff Scott Israel more funding

Israel threatens layoffs after being turned away in past

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward County commissioners again turned down Sheriff Scott Israel's request for more funding Tuesday.

Israel told commissioners he wanted an additional $7 million.

"We're in a bad place at the Broward Sheriff's Office," said Israel.

In rejecting the sheriff, Commissioner Lois Wexler said getting information from the Broward Sheriff's Office was like "pulling teeth."

"I feel like I'm in paper hell in trying to understand -- even from May to June to July to now, August -- where the numbers are because they kept moving all over the place," said Commissioner Lois Wexler.

In May, Israel asked the commission for $58 million, saying he wanted to "bring social service programs and a holistic approach to law enforcement."

After he was told no, Israel said in June that he may need to layoff 200 to 300 deputies if he didn't get at least $30 million. The commission turned him away again.

On Tuesday, Israel again said layoffs may happen if the agency wasn't given more money.

"If we don't get that $7 million, the only place we're going to cut is personnel," said Israel.

"You can cut some of your vehicle purchases, which is budgeted at $7.5 million," countered Wexler. "You can go with a different jail health care provider and save $2 million a year."

"You can go out and find it somewhere by creating some efficiencies without having to lay one person off," added Commissioner Dale Holness.

The county commission is expected to make its final decision on the sheriff's budget next month.