Gov. DeSantis suspends Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WPLG)-- Scott Israel is out as Broward County sheriff.

Just three days after taking the oath of office, Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended the embattled two-term sheriff Friday and appointed former Coral Springs police Sgt. Gregory Tony to fill the role.

"Today I have issued an executive order suspending Scott Israel as the sheriff of Broward County," DeSantis said outside the Broward Sheriff's Office headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.

His words drew a large applause from those in attendance.

The move had long been expected after DeSantis vowed during his campaign to remove the sheriff in the wake of his department's failures during last year's Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Much of the perceived faults of the Broward Sheriff's Office were outlined in the lengthy Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission report submitted to the governor's office last week.

The report outlined flawed procedures within the BSO and detailed how former school resource Deputy Scot Peterson failed to engage the shooter.

Five members of the BSO command staff also resigned Friday, two of them citing the unjust decision by DeSantis.

Israel was also criticized for touting his "amazing leadership" during a CNN interview in the days after the shooting.

Israel has resisted calls for his resignation, including from some parents whose children were victims of the Parkland school shooting.

Former state Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, wrote a letter to then-Gov. Rick Scott in February, urging him to suspend Israel for "incompetence and neglect of duty." Israel fired back, calling it "disingenuous political grandstanding."

In April, the Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association gave Israel a vote of no-confidence.

Andrew Pollack, who was with the governor during Friday's announcement, has been a vocal critical of Israel. Pollack's daughter, Meadow, was among the 14 students and three faculty members killed in the Parkland school shooting.

Pollack is believed to be close with Tony, who has served as president of Blue Spear Solutions, which specializes in active shooting training. He founded the company while employed by the Coral Springs Police Department.

Under Florida law, Tony would serve as sheriff until the next election in 2020.