Broward Deputies vote 'no confidence' in Sheriff Scott Israel

The Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association, with the union, vows to ask Gov. Rick Scott to remove Israel from office, according to union President Jeff Bell. While the vote was open to all members, 628 voted with only 94 voting that they still have confidence in Israel, a Democrat who was re-elected in 2016 and won't face voters again until 2020.

Only about half of the union's members voted and the deputies association is one of several that represent Broward Sheriff's Office employees.

Bell said it was the union's first vote of no confidence against a sheriff.

Israel fired back at the "inconsequential" vote which he characterized as an attempt to extort a pay raise. "The unions representing the vast majority of our employees solidly support the leadership of this agency". "We are a ship out at sea with no power - adrift", Bell said. "We ask you to start changing your policies that are absolutely failing, we ask you to change your leadership to something that somewhat resembling incredible", said Bell. The actual power to remove the sheriff from office is in the hands of the state Senate.

Israel attended an annual ceremony on Thursday morning for fallen deputies while waiting for the results of the no-confidence vote.

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.

Broward County Sheriff Israel faced a "no-confidence" vote from a union of his own deputies after a crisis of leadership before and during the investigation into the Parkland massacre that took 17 lives.

"It's appalling, it's shameful", said Israel. "This is also a vote of confidence in how you treat us and how our bargaining unit feels about you", the union's director, Anthony Marciano, wrote in a letter to the sheriff. What's changed since then?

Bell responded to Israel's comments by calling the sheriff a "complete liar".

He said the last straw was Israel's handling of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which drew harsh criticism and a probe ordered by Scott's office.

Israel said in a statement that he was accountable only to the citizens of the county. Bell relays that many deputies were upset with Israel for publicly referring to Peterson's actions as "cowardly", something his deputies are now hearing the public hurl at them. He said only deputies accused of crimes are placed on unpaid leave and Peterson has never been charged. "My job is to continue to do the job I was elected to do, which is to ensure the safety of Broward County's 1.9 million residents", he said.


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