The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association said Thursday Sheriff Scott Israel overwhelmingly lost a vote of no confidence by union members. The outspoken gun control zealot refused to take responsibility for the failures surrounding the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Union President Jeff Bell said the top issue was his handling of the tragedy that left 17 people dead. Sheriff Israel, a Democrat, has mocked and denounced the no confidence vote. Last week, he called it a union tactic to get pay raises. He continued to do so after the results of the vote.
“I am accountable to the citizens of Broward County,” Sheriff Israel said. “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. I will not be distracted from my duties by this inconsequential IUPA union vote, which was designed to extort a 6.5 percent pay raise from this agency.”
He also claimed that the vote isn’t representative of the entire union, stating those who participated “reflect only a small number” and overall deputies “solidly support the leadership of this agency.”
However, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association started the vote last Friday and members have been casting ballots electronically since Friday. The Deputies Association is a chapter of the International Union of Police Associations, representing 1,050 members. Its contract covers 1,300 deputies and sergeants and the vote was open to all of them.
Only 94 members cared enough to vote in support of Sheriff Israel and Mr. Bell vehemently denied the vote was an attempt to extort a pay raise. He said the union has a “long laundry list” of grievances surround Sheriff Israel, who was accused of public corruption two years ago.
It’s not a secret that Broward County has a major problem with public corruption, including their elections.
Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott has thus far ignored calls from state legislators and parents to suspend him after the shooting. However, 534 out of 628 union members (85%) voted “no confidence” in Sheriff Israel and plan to send the results to Governor Scott.
They are urging him to “replace the sheriff with somebody who is capable of amazing leadership.”
“Amazing leadership starts from the top, and there is no amazing leadership here,” Mr. Bell said. “We are a ship out at sea with no power — adrift.”