According to two longtime sources, State law enforcement officials met with Governor Ron DeSantis in Miami Gardens on Wednesday morning to discuss the controversy surrounding Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony. The sources tell REDBROWARD FDLE officials met with the Governor at Hard Rock Stadium to discuss an “executive investigation” into Tony’s failure to disclose charges surrounding the 1993 shooting of Hector “Chino” Rodriguez in Philadelphia.
On Sunday, The Florida Bulldog revealed a fourteen year old Gregory Tony was charged with the murder of Rodriguez.
“When I was 14 years old, growing up in a neighborhood in Philadelphia filled with violence and gang activity, I shot an armed man in self-defense. The juvenile authorities reviewed my actions and cleared my name,” Tony wrote in an email to The Florida Bulldog. “This was the most difficult and painful experience of my life and I have never spoken of it publicly. I worked every day from that time forward to leave the violence that surrounded me in Philadelphia behind.”
On Monday, The Sun-Sentinel reported Tony failed to disclose the matter when he applied for a position with the Coral Springs Police Department in 2005. Tony answered “no” to questions asking about being arrested and whether criminal records were sealed or expunged. In several interviews since the Bulldog story broke, Tony has maintained he did not disclose the matter to anyone, including Governor Ron DeSantis, because the records were sealed after he was found not guilty.
On Wednesday, the Bulldog published a copy of a January 2020 FDLE document signed by Tony where he declared, “under oath that he never had a criminal record sealed or expunged.”
According to The Bulldog:
The Jan. 7 affidavit – notarized, signed and dated boldly in blue ink by Tony – comes to light amid news that Tony shot and killed a man in Philadelphia when he was a teenager in 1993 and that all court records about his case are sealed.
The form includes a notice above Tony’s signature that it constitutes an official statement under the law and that any “intentional omission” or “false execution…shall constitute a misdemeanor of the second degree and disqualify the officer for employment as an officer.”
Under Florida law, a second-degree misdemeanor is punishable by “a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days” or up to a $500 fine.
Late Wednesday, an FDLE spokesperson confirmed to the Sun-Sentinel that it was aware the matter.
“We did receive a complaint and we will review the complaint,“ said Gretl Plessinger, spokesperson for the FDLE. “We do not have an active investigation.”
However, sources tell REDBROWARD that law enforcement officials gave Governor Ron DeSantis a briefing on the legal issues and possible charges facing Tony.
According to our sources, the statute of limitations would prevent any case against Tony for his answers on the 2005 Coral Springs Police Department application. One source said no charges would come from that application since Tony retired from the CSPD and entered the private sector.
The January 2020 FDLE affidavit allegedly presents real legal and political problems for Sheriff Tony.
The source states Tony’s recent press comments about his “sealed” records bolsters chances of bringing misdemeanor charges against him. And even though just a misdemeanor, this type of charge might warrant Tony’s removal from office.
The source stated Tallahassee would give Tony several days to decide whether he should resign or face an ongoing investigation.
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.”