Total Loser: Broward County Sheriff Gets Trashed In No Confidence Vote

The Broward County Sheriff's Deputies Association overwhelmingly voted that they have no confidence in Sheriff Scott Israel. Bell said it was his union's first vote of no confidence against a sheriff.

The union leader told reporters that he placed a courtesy call to let the sheriff know about the results of the vote.

But union members point not only to nationwide criticism of the department's response to the Stoneman Douglas shooting, but also several other factors, including some 6,000 gallons of taxpayer-funded fuel given away to Napa Auto Parts, according to WPLG Local 10's Bob Norman.

Israel's only ray of light in the union count is the no-show total: The number of deputies who didn't vote outnumbered the ones who did. The 3-year-old union represents the office's deputies who hold the rank of sergeant and below, and its contract expires September 30.

Thursday's vote results are not binding in any way.

Israel said he believes the whole "no confidence" vote centers around one thing, contract negotiations.

According to Florida statue, Scott has the power to suspend the sheriff for actions such as "misfeasance" and "neglect of duty" and may fill the office by appointment for the period of suspension. Only the state senate has the power to remove him. "My focus, as it's always been, is going to be on protecting Broward County, serving our community", said Sheriff Israel.

"In fact the union boss, who asked for this vote of no confidence, wrote me a handsome letter about a year and a half ago actually endorsing me for sheriff, talking about my leadership and moral".

Bell added, "Amazing leadership starts from the top, and there is no fantastic leadership here". What's changed since then?

The Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association initiated the vote last Friday, citing crushed morale amid national criticism of how the agency handled its response to the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

"I denied them a 6.5 percent raise, which would have been twice the amount of any other member of the agency".

While the no confidence vote against Israel is symbolic, Bell said it represents the collective voice of the rank and file deputies, and he plans to use that voice to pressure the governor to act.

Bell disputed the insinuation that this was over a raise, saying Israel is a "complete liar", and that this has never been about a contract. School resource officer Scot Peterson resigned after it was revealed that he stayed in the same position for four minutes as Cruz gunned down his former students and classmates and even advised his fellow officers to stay away from the building where the shooting was taking place.

Sheriff Israel responded to the vote with this statement via Twitter.

"Those who purportedly voted in this straw ballot reflect only a small number of the 5,400 BSO employees", he said.

"As your largest union, we support you and have confidence in how you are running this large complex agency", said the letter from the public employees' union.

  • Joey Payne