Statement by Scott Israel

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

“First, my thoughts today are with those families and friends who lost loved ones on that horrific day in February 2018 – especially those who spoke in the Senate hearing Monday. I heard them, every single one. I wear their hurt and hear their words every single day. My poor choice of words and inartful tone in the days following the Parkland murders caused them pain. I am deeply deeply sorry for that … and I will be for the rest of my life.

I want to thank every Senator who listened to the evidence and voted to support the voters of Broward County. I am disappointed but not surprised that this Governor and his political allies chose to ignore their own report and the will of the voters.

To the voters in Broward County, I am sad to report that politics won the day. Your vote has been stolen and the results of our 2016 election have been overturned. From 450 miles away, the Governor substituted his judgement for yours and installed his own sheriff in Broward County.

The process they used to steal your vote was a sham and by the Governor’s own admission simply “political.” These politicians in Tallahassee ignored or dismissed the advice of the previous Governor, the commission charged with investigating the Parkland murders, the chair of that commission and even their own judge in the matter.

Law Enforcement in Florida fundamentally changed tonight. The office of Sheriff, once accountable to the people and the law is now subject to the petulant whims, political paybacks and personal piques of partisan tyrants in Tallahassee.

Tonight, I want the people in Broward County to know that I came here to fight to make good on my promises to you and to finish the job you entrusted me to do. Despite this power grab that fight will continue.”