Sheriff Gregory Tony FDLE affidavit brings up more questions about teen shooting incident

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – An affidavit signed by Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony under oath in January of 2020 from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is raising new questions on whether or not the sheriff was forthcoming on a routine form that certifies if the sheriff is in compliance as a law enforcement officer. There are allegations and new questions on whether or not this could have major implications considering that he is Broward’s top cop and perhaps if he actually broke the law.

The FDLE affidavit asks in Question No. 4. “I had a criminal record sealed or expunged.” Tony checks the box “False.”

As reported by the, a 14-year-old Tony shot and killed 18-year-old Hector Rodriguez in Philadelphia.

Tony went on the record, speaking to Local 10 Sunday at BSO headquarters. “There was no crime, no arrest and this was considered a self-defense case, as it should have been,” Tony told Local 10.

The story by the watchdog news group stated that the incident, on May 3, 1993, resulted in Tony first being charged as an adult, but that the homicide trial moved to juvenile court, where records are not public, and where those charges were eventually dropped. The shooting was labeled self defense.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office responded Wednesday to the question about the document in a statement: “The sheriff doesn’t have a criminal record in Pennsylvania; therefore, there was no record to seal or expunge.”

They also pointed to a Level 1 background check by the FDLE that BSO says raised no red flags. The Broward State Attorney’s office is in receipt of the document and has been in touch with FDLE, but at this point no formal investigation has been launched.

Local 10′s Terrell Forney asked Tony during Sunday’s interview: “Is there a moral obligation to reveal this information?”

“When I’ve gone in for interviews, people don’t ask me, 'were you a 14-year-old kid that survived a shooting. Interviews don’t take place that way nor is there any element on an application that says that I should bring that up,” Tony responded.

Earlier this month, Tony released his law enforcement application to Coral Springs police, but his only disclosure was marijuana use in the early 1990s. Local 10 obtained those hiring forms from the Coral Springs Police Department where Tony started his law enforcement career. The papers specifically ask about a juvenile arrest or charges, or if there had ever been reason to be detained for investigative purposes as a suspect. Tony marked “no” for all, raising not just ethical questions, but legal ones, too.

Top brass at Coral Springs police department said if they had been aware of his past they would not have hired him

Forney asked the sheriff also during the Sunday interview: “At some point, do you think that this should have been revealed?"

“Whether I’ve said it in an interview or saying it right now, this is not something that I’m afraid to speak about in public," Tony told Local 10 o. "But the reality is, in an application process, when you’re coming in for an employment, one, it doesn’t require you to bring it up, and two, I don’t want to be some 14-year-old black kid who survived a shooting. I don’t want to be someone’s victim.”

Tony told Local 10 that the spat with Rodriguez was a “violent encounter.”

“Unfortunately, we had a dispute with him — my brother and me — in front of our home and he made threats to kill us and he literally pulled out a gun. He had no problem with shooting us right there,” Tony said, calling it an act of self defense.

Tony believes the release of the nearly three-decades old story is politically motivated because he is running for election in 2020 to keep his post as Broward County Sheriff and this is a way to smear his name. “It’s being used as a political tool,” he told Local 10.

About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.