Scott suspends Broward supervisor of elections

Scott appoints Peter Antonacci to replace Brenda Snipes

LAUDERHILL, Fla. – Through an executive order Friday, Gov. Rick Scott suspended the Broward supervisor of elections without pay accusing her of misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty. 

Former Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Brenda Snipes in 2003 and she was elected by voters thereafter.. In a statement, Scott said laws were broken during Snipes' term "including posting election results before polls closed and authorizing the improper destruction of ballots."  

During the midterm elections delay, President Donald Trump called for her firing. Snipes had already announced her resignation effective January. Scott said there was no need to spend tax payers money and appointed Peter Antonacci, the president of Enterprise Florida and the former executive director of the South Florida Water Management District, as her replacement. 

Antonacci also served as the state attorney for Palm Beach County.

“After a series of inexcusable actions, it’s clear that there needs to be an immediate change in Broward County and taxpayers should no longer be burned by paying a salary for a Supervisor of Elections who has already announced resignation,” Scott said in a statement.

Snipes critics have pointed to an incident in 2016, in which her office destroyed ballots in a congressional race against a judge's order. During the recent recount, Scott filed multiple lawsuit against Snipes' office, saying Broward officials have not been transparent enough during the recount process.

Antonacci, who grew up in Hialeah, graduated from Miami Dade College, and earned urban planning and legal degrees from Florida State University and FSU law school. Scott said Antonacci will not be running for election. Broward County voters will elect a new elections supervisor in 2020.

Snipes has declined to comment.

Scott has posted several Florida State Troopers outside the Supervisor of Election's office in Lauderhill to prevent anyone from removing records or files.

About the Authors:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.