Former Broward County elections supervisor sues to get job back

Lawsuit contends Dr. Brenda Snipes' due process rights were violated

By Associated Press, Peter Burke - Managing Editor

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The ousted former Broward County elections supervisor is asking a federal judge to reinstate her after she was removed from office by Gov. Rick Scott.

Embattled former Broward County Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes filed a lengthy federal lawsuit Monday against Scott and Senate President Bill Galvano.

The lawsuit contends that Snipes' due process rights were violated and that the law allowing the governor to suspend elected officials is unconstitutional.

Snipes came under fire during the contentious recount that followed the November elections. She planned to resign Jan. 4, but she rescinded her resignation after Scott immediately suspended her last month.

"She has been publicly humiliated by being closed out of her job and further not being paid during the suspension," the lawsuit states. "At this point, Gov. Scott's allegations have gone unchallenged as he sits high on a 'throne' utilizing state resources to continually humiliate Snipes. Due process clearly applies."

Scott appointed his former general counsel, Peter Antonacci, to take her place. In his executive order, Scott said Snipes needed to be suspended for misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty.

Galvano said the Florida Senate wouldn't take any action to block Snipes' suspension because there isn't enough time to investigate Scott's allegations.

"Brenda Snipes repeatedly destroyed the trust of her constituents and her incompetence raised serious doubts about her integrity," Republican National Committee spokesman Joe Jackson said in a statement Tuesday. "It is ridiculous she is suing to be reinstated for a position she had already resigned from. The people of Broward County deserve a clean slate and it is sad to see Snipes continue to defend the indefensible."

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