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Bill seeks to strip Scot Peterson of retirement benefits

Former school resource deputy failed to act during Parkland shooting

A bill filed in the Florida House seeks to strip former Parkland school resource Deputy Scot Peterson of his retirement benefits.
A bill filed in the Florida House seeks to strip former Parkland school resource Deputy Scot Peterson of his retirement benefits.

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A Florida lawmaker has filed a bill to try to strip former Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy Scot Peterson of his retirement benefits.

Rep. Spencer Roach, R-North Fort Myers, filed the bill (HB 1091) Tuesday.

The bill seeks to forfeit all of Peterson's rights and benefits under Florida's retirement system "due to his wanton or willful neglect in the performance of his assigned duties."

Peterson was a school resource deputy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Valentine's Day 2018 when former student Nikolas Cruz killed 14 students and three faculty members. He resigned and began collecting pension payments after then-Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced Feb. 22, 2018, that Peterson never engaged the shooter.

A report from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission concluded that Peterson was "derelict in his duty" and "failed to act consistently with his training" on the day of the mass shooting.

Under Roach's bill, Peterson would be forced to forfeit all state benefits, "except the return of any accumulated contributions," upon becoming law.