Scott Israel files paperwork to run again for Broward County sheriff

Suspended sheriff 'out and about' campaigning while awaiting outcome of hearing

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Scott Israel filed paperwork Monday morning to run again for Broward County sheriff. 

The decision comes after the sheriff was suspended following his agency's handling of last year's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that claimed the lives of 17 people.

Israel was also criticized for the agency's response to the 2017 shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that left five people dead and six others injured. 

Israel was joined by his wife and campaign manager Monday as he turned in his paperwork as he waits for the Florida Senate to weigh in on his suspension.

Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Israel in January just after his inauguration.

Israel recently testified before the Florida Senate in Tallahassee during an appeals hearing, claiming that his suspension was purely political.

DeSantis, meanwhile, accused Israel of incompetence and negligence for everything that went wrong during the BSO's response to both mass shootings. 

The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) also has revoked the law enforcement accreditation of the BSO for the first time in two decades, citing the agency's mishandling of both mass shootings.

"It is disheartening for the hardworking members of the Broward Sheriff's Office to lose our accreditation because of the previous administration's mishandling of two devastating events in our community," Sheriff Gregory Tony said Monday in a statement. "Since recently taking command, I have worked on improving BSO and repairing the effects of bad leadership and negligence by focusing on training and community relations. I will continue working hard to ensure that all Broward residents feel safe and that our agency's reputation and honor are restored."

Israel had said the outcome of the Senate hearing would have no bearing on whether he decided to run again.

"I'm out and about. I haven't stopped campaigning, even post-suspension, and I know that the Broward County residents, the Broward County voter, is fully aware that we had a governor make a promise -- a campaign promise -- to suspend the sheriff," Israel told Local 10 News. 

Closing arguments from Israel's side and the governor's side are expected to be given to the hearing's special master on Aug. 19, who will then make a recommendation to the Senate.

Tony, who was a former Coral Springs police officer, was named as Israel's replacement following his suspension. Tony also has said he plans to run for sheriff when the current term is up in 2020.

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