BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis said 100 days ago that he would review a state report that Broward County’s sheriff had lied about killing another teenager 30 years ago.
As of Wednesday, DeSantis still hasn’t said if he’ll discipline Sheriff Gregory Tony.
DeSantis could fire Tony or suspend him for the 1993 shooting that happened when Tony was 14 and living in Philadelphia.
Tony was charged with murder for killing an 18-year-old neighbor during a fight, but he argued self-defense and was acquitted.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in late January that Tony lied about his criminal record in 2005 when he applied to the Coral Springs Police Department and was asked if he ever killed anyone.
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 while 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.
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.