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Does Scott Israel’s Removal Rewrite The Rules For Florida’s Sheriffs?

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Steve Cannon
/
AP
Former Broward county sheriff Scott Israel, center, greets his supporters during a break of the senate rules committee meeting concerning his dismissal by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday Oct. 21, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla.

The Florida Senate is poised to formally remove Scott Israel as sheriff of Broward County Wednesday and, in a largely party-line vote, uphold his suspension from office by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

While the vote is expected to be seen as a political victory for the governor and long-sought validation for the families of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting who blame Israel’s failed leadership for the deaths of 17 students and faculty in 2018, it won’t end the debate.

The handling of Israel’s suspension by the governor and Senate has created what the governor’s attorney called a “new standard” by which to hold sheriffs accountable. It also unleashed a flurry of new questions: What is acceptable use of executive authority for political gain? What does this do to the standards Florida sets for its elected sheriffs? And is the removal of Israel a one-off situation, colored by the pain of a terrible tragedy and rarely expected to happen again?

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.