FILE PHOTO: Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks before the start of a CNN town hall meeting at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool/File Photo
TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday suspended the local sheriff criticized for the police response to last year’s mass shooting that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, according to news reports.
DeSantis has said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel should be held accountable for the massacre that left 14 students and three adults dead at the hands of a lone gunman on Feb. 14, 2018.
In a report released last week, a state-appointed commission identified multiple failings in Israel’s agency’s response to the shooting.
Israel, a Democrat, has served as the elected sheriff of the agency with 5,800 employees since 2013. Despite criticism of the shooting response, he has said he would continue to serve in his elected capacity, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
DeSantis, a Republican elected to the office in November and sworn in earlier this week, criticized the sheriff during his campaign and had signaled that he would have likely removed Israel from office.
Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Tom Brown