Police report proves Broward sheriff didn’t lie on FDLE affidavit, Tony’s campaign says

Homicide report appears to contradict Tony’s claim that he wasn’t arrested, though.

Tony killed a man at age 14 in self-defense, and a judge found him not guilty of murder. The report, however, may contradict the sheriff's claim that he wasn't arrested.

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony’s campaign released a police report Monday which they say proves he was not guilty of a crime in the fatal shooting of Hector Rodriguez in 1993 when the sheriff was just 14 years old, and therefore Tony did not lie on law enforcement applications and affidavits asking if he had a prior criminal history.

According to the report from the Philadelphia Police Department, which the Miami Herald obtained and sent to the sheriff’s campaign, Tony shot Rodriguez, 18, multiple times throughout the body, including in the head, during an argument on May 3, 1993.

The next day, the assistant district attorney approved a murder charge against Tony.

According to the police report, Tony turned himself in to authorities that same day.

He was found not guilty on Dec. 15, 1993, after a judge heard from multiple witnesses, the report stated.

“We are happy to see the release of the police report from the time of the incident,” a statement from Tony’s campaign read. “There is now absolute confirmation of what we have been saying all along: that Sheriff Tony defended himself and his brother’s life, and that after witness testimony heard by a judge, he was found not guilty. Further, it is confirmation that Sheriff Tony has no criminal record. With this concrete evidence fully vindicating the Sheriff, it is time to stop these desperate attempts by opposing campaigns to retry Sheriff Tony based on a traumatic incident from when he was a 14-year old boy, and move on to focusing on the real issues that affect the future and safety of Broward County residents.”

However, in an interview with Local 10 News earlier this month, Tony said “there was no arrest.” There was, however, apparently an arrest, as the report documents bail, a trial and a verdict.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, meanwhile, has confirmed that it has opened an investigation into the sheriff after FloridaBulldog.org published an affidavit signed by the sheriff under oath.

The FDLE affidavit, signed by Tony in January of 2020, asked in Question No. 4 whether he “had a criminal record sealed or expunged.” Tony checked the box “False.”

The sheriff’s campaign maintains that Tony filled out the form correctly.

“The FDLE form specifically asked whether he ever ‘had a criminal record sealed or expunged.’ The Sheriff has never had a criminal record,” a statement from the campaign read.

The sheriff’s critics, however, still question why Tony never revealed his arrest during the hiring process throughout his entire law enforcement career.

“Looking at what’s coming up now, I think it’s all about a political agenda nor is there any element on an application that says I should bring this up,” Tony told Local 10 News.

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."