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Broward Sheriff Faces 'Vote Of No Confidence' After Suspending Police Union President

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South Florida Sun Sentinel
Attorney Eric Schwartzreich comments on the suspension and forthcoming lawsuit of Broward Sheriffs Office Deputies Union President, Jeff Bell.

Law enforcement deputies plan to send a strong rebuke to Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, who suspended their union president.

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Tony faces a ‘vote of no confidence’ from members of the Broward Sheriffs Office Deputies Association, according to multiple reports. 

He suspended union president Jeff Bell with pay last Friday after Bell had publicly criticized his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic.

In a op-ed published by the Sun Sentinel last week, Bell said Tony's leadership was a failure and argued that deputies do not have enough personal protective equipment.

“It’s the union president’s role to speak out on behalf of the membership,” said Attorney Eric Schwartzreich, who is representing Bell, at a press conference Monday accusing the sheriff of stifling free speech. He also announced an intent to sue.

The move could turn out to be politically embarrassing for Tony, who is running for a full term this year.

“Deputy Bell is not a victim of abuse of powers, nor was his suspension a matter of retaliation,” Tony told WLRN in an email. "He is a deputy of the Broward Sheriff’s Office and thereby subject to comply with all agency policy."