When Gov. Ron DeSantis came into office in 2019, he suspended three elected officials within his first two weeks.
He was following through on a promise that he had made during his inaugural address. There, he pledged to lead with purpose and conviction and said that “if a local official is neglectful of required duties, I will remove that official.”
None of those three officials had been charged with a crime, though some in the community had been pleading for their removal — particularly when it came to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, whose office failed in effectively responding to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
DeSantis also removed Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher for ballot counting delays and the Superintendent of Okaloosa County Schools for reports that special needs children were being neglected.
But before his removal Thursday of Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, most of DeSantis’ suspensions had been because the elected officials were charged with felonies — a standard for Florida governors.
Rick Scott, DeSantis’s predecessor, had mostly removed officials charged with corruption-related crime or other felonies, according to an analysis from the Sun Sentinel.
Scott rarely veered outside of that pattern, but did suspend Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, who faced no charges but was accused by Scott of election failure. A judge said Scott unfairly vilified Snipes and was…