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The Latest: Florida sheriff says he’ll fight suspension

January 11, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the suspension of a Florida sheriff whose deputies were assigned to protect the school where 17 died in a February massacre. (all times local):

5:23 p.m.

The Florida sheriff who was suspended for his office’s handling of a Feb. 14 school massacre says he’s fighting the suspension.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Friday that, “There was no wrongdoing on my part. I served the county honorably.”

His statement came minutes after the state’s new governor, Ron DeSantis, announced he was suspending Israel. DeSantis said Israel “failed in his duties to keep our families and children safe during the devastating shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.” DeSantis also cited the Broward County sheriff’s response to a 2017 mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

DeSantis’ Republican predecessor, now-U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, had refused to suspend Israel, saying he wanted to wait until investigations into the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead were complete before deciding.

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5 p.m.

Florida’s new governor has suspended the sheriff whose deputies were assigned to protect the school where 17 died in a February massacre.

Gov. Ron DeSantis removed Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel on Friday. He appointed former Coral Springs police Sgt. Gregory Tony to replace Israel.

During the campaign, DeSantis originally said he would suspend Israel, but then backed off slightly, saying he would hold officeholders accountable.

DeSantis’ Republican predecessor, now-Sen. Rick Scott, had refused to suspend the sheriff, saying he wanted to wait until investigations were complete before deciding.

A state commission investigating the massacre recently concluded Israel’s changes to the department’s active shooter policy may have contributed to some deputies’ inaction during the school shooting.

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