Suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel continues testifying for a second day during a Florida Senate hearing to get his job back.
Israel told a special master Tuesday in Tallahassee that his suspension by Gov. Ron DeSantis was politically motivated and that he never even met the governor.
“To this day, I’ve never met or had a conversation with Gov. DeSantis,” Israel said, adding that the governor “didn’t even think it was important enough for me to fly to Tallahassee.”
Dudley Goodlette, Special Master appointed by Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, is presiding over the three-day hearing.
Citing “neglect of duty and incompetence” in the aftermath of two mass shootings in as many years, DeSantis suspended Israel, who is a Democrat, shortly after taking office in January. He appointed former Coral Springs police Sgt. Gregory Tony to the position.
The Florida Supreme Court has already ruled that DeSantis acted within his authority to suspend Israel.
In his opening statements, DeSantis’ attorney, Nicholas Primrose, framed his case that Israel was responsible for the actions and inactions of his deputies during the mass shootings at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in 2017 and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland last year.