From Governor’s Office:
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis sent a request to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to take over the investigation pertaining to the Jeffrey Epstein matter following a letter from Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw.
Governor DeSantis issued an Executive Assignment of this case from Palm Beach County to the State Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida. Additionally, the Governor requests FDLE to initiate a preliminary inquiry into other irregularities surrounding the prior state investigation and the ultimate plea agreement.
“Floridians expect and deserve a full and fair investigation,” said Governor DeSantis. “Following my review of Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw’s letter, I am requesting the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to take over his criminal investigation pertaining to the Jeffrey Epstein matter. In addition, FDLE will conduct a preliminary inquiry into matters beyond the work release and into other irregularities concerning the case’s disposition. I have also re-assigned the case to the State Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit.”
Further questions regarding the active criminal investigation of the Jeffrey Epstein matter should be referred to FDLE.
From the Florida Department Of Law Enforcement (FDLE):
Following an investigation by FDLE, former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, 56, was arrested in Broward County today on seven counts of neglect of a child and three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury. The arrest comes after a 15-month investigation into the actions of law enforcement following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
“The FDLE investigation shows former Deputy Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting that killed 17 children, teachers and staff and injured 17 others,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”
“I was pleased the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office conducted a thorough investigation that yielded the arrest of Scot Peterson. All the facts related to Mr. Peterson’s failure to act during the MSD massacre clearly warranted both termination of employment and criminal charges. It’s never too late for accountability and justice,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
The case was investigated with the Broward State Attorney’s Office under the direction of Broward State Attorney Mike Satz. The case will be handled by Assistant State Attorney Tim Donnelly.
Peterson was the school resource officer at MSD High School during the school shooting. The investigation shows Peterson refused to investigate the source of gunshots, retreated during the active shooting while victims were being shot and directed other law enforcement who arrived on scene to remain 500 feet away from the building.
During the investigation, FDLE agents interviewed 184 witnesses, reviewed countless hours of video surveillance, and wrote 212 investigative reports totaling over 800 hours on the case to determine the actions of law enforcement as they responded to the February 14, 2018 school shooting. FDLE agents received the full cooperation and assistance from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Coral Springs Police Department and all other agencies that responded to the school shooting.
Peterson was arrested at the Broward Sheriff’s Office headquarters and booked into the Broward County Main Jail. The Broward State Attorney’s Office, 17th Judicial Circuit will prosecute the case.
BREAKING NEWS FROM BROWARD STATE ATTORNEY MIKE SATZ:
Former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson is facing 11 criminal charges – including child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury – in connection with his lack of response to the Feb. 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward State Attorney Mike Satz announced Tuesday.
Following a 14-month investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, 56, was arrested Tuesday on seven counts of child neglect, three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury. The investigation examined the actions of law enforcement during and following the Parkland school mass shooting.
Peterson will be booked into the Broward County Jail. His bond is set at $102,000. Under the terms of his bond, Peterson would be required to wear a GPS monitor, must surrender his passport and is banned from possessing any firearms while the case is pending.
If convicted, the 11 charges technically carry a maximum potential punishment of 96 ½ years in state prison.
Six of the seven child neglect charges are second-degree felonies and carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison. The seventh child neglect charge is a third-degree felony (because the child was not severely injured) with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The perjury charge is a first-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail. The three charges of culpable negligence are second-degree misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail.