The Broward County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association has scheduled a no-confidence vote for Sheriff Scott Israel for “many instances of suspected malfeasance” among several claims that his conduct leading up to, and following, the Feb 14th Parkland school shooting.
Union president Deputy Jeff Bell announced the upcoming vote on Friday. Of note, Florida governor Rick Scott can fire Israel for “malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty (or) incompetence.”
To that end, Israel is accused by the Association of “many instances of suspected malfeasance, misfeasance, failure to maintain fiduciary responsibility by the sheriff, failure to properly investigate possible criminal conduct by members of his senior command staff and the lack of leadership that has crushed morale throughout the agency.”
Seems like the Deputies Association is about to give Governor Scott exactly what he needs to get rid of Israel, right down to the official language.
While multiple agencies failed in the lead-up to the Parkland shooting, the Broward County Sheriff’s Department – led by Sheriff Israel, had directly interfaced with self-confessed killer Nikolas Cruz – having received nearly 50 calls about him.
Perhaps resource officer Scot Peterson (the Broward Deputy who ran from the shooting) failed to commit Cruz for mental evaluation under Florida’s Baker Act.
Israel has refused to take responsibility for his behavior before or after the shooting. Under calls to resign, the Sheriff said:
“I gave him a gun. I gave him a badge. I gave him the training. If he didn’t have the heart to go in, that’s not my responsibility,” said Israel of Peterson’s failure to face Cruz during the shooting.
As Ben Domenech of The Federalist noted in February, when Israel was accused of corruption in the past, he responded with a paraphrased quote from Game of Thrones: “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.”
The manner of corruption, though, is illuminating: essentially, it amounts to Israel’s use of the Broward County office as a patronage program, hiring unqualified political allies for cushy county public relations jobs. –The Federalist
The outreach workers, who mainly attend community events, are in addition to political activists and others Israel hired into community affairs roles, writing and designing printed pieces about the agency, and sharing it on social media. The employee log shows six hired into community affairs roles, their salaries totaling 388,729. Israel’s opponents say he’s built a publicly funded political machine, paying back supporters with jobs and using them to keep him in office. They say the money could be better spent, particularly after the sheriff complained about not having enough funding to secure the county courthouse, where a murder suspect recently escaped.
Israel was also accused of taking donations from a convicted felon in the “Cuban Mafia”…
Israel was criticized in 2014 after a political action committee supporting his re-election campaign for sheriff accepted thousands of dollars in donations from a convicted felon.
The donor, Yoram Izhak, was indicted for allegedly being part of an organized crime ring known as the “Cuban Mafia” that “was allegedly involved in cocaine trafficking, arson, gambling and murder,” according to Local10.
Meanwhile, Israel has morphed into a mouthpiece for the gun control movement.
Between Israel’s checkered past and his conduct surrounding the Parkland massacre, it appears that the Deputies Association is paving the way for a new sheriff to take the helm in Broward County.