FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – State law enforcement officials found that Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony lied years ago while applying for a police job, but he will not face criminal charges.
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement report released Monday says some of the falsehoods made by Tony were too long ago to prosecute.
Investigators say Tony lied about his criminal record in 2005 when he applied to the Coral Springs Police Department.
Tony failed to disclose that he had been arrested for a fatal shooting in 1993 when he was 14.
He was eventually found not guilty after arguing self-defense.
The sheriff spoke about the shooting to Local 10 News in 2020, calling it a “violent encounter” that he and his brother endured.
It was May of 1993 when Tony shot and killed 18-year-old Hector Rodriguez when Tony was 14 and living in an inner city Philadelphia neighborhood.
“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.
So, why didn’t Tony disclose the information when he became a law enforcement officer in Coral Springs, where he was once a sergeant, or when he was appointed head of the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 2019?
“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. “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 maintains there was no arrest at the time and he was cleared of any wrongdoing as a juvenile.