Records obtained by REDBROWARD appear to show Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony never disclosed being placed on adult probation for acts committed when he was a juvenile. In May, published reports revealed Sheriff Tony failed to disclose his 1993 arrest for shooting and killing a neighborhood friend. The disclosure finally forced Tony to admit the arrest he kept hidden from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and numerous law enforcement agencies. Tony said he was a fourteen year old living in Philadelphia acting in “clear self-defense.”
“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.”
According to The Florida Bulldog, in January 2020, Sheriff Gregory Tony filed a signed an affidavit with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) where he states he never had a criminal case sealed or expunged.
Florida law requires all “employed or appointed” law enforcement officers to complete a sworn affidavit provided by FDLE’s Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission attesting to his or her compliance with various state employment requirements. The commission’s mission: “to ensure that all citizens of Florida are served by criminal justice officers who are ethical, qualified, and well-trained.” Among other things the affidavit asked Sheriff Tony to answer true or false to this statement: “I had a criminal record sealed or expunged.” Tony checked false.
Now, records obtained by REDBROWARD show Sheriff Gregory Tony got into legal trouble before and after the 1993 shooting of Hector “Chino” Rodriguez.
PROBATION DEPT. V. GREGORY TONY
While Pennsylvania does not allow public access to criminal records, evidence of Gregory Tony being placed under adult probation were found in Philadelphia civil court records. On December 9, 1992, the Probation Department filed a case against defendant Gregory S. Tony, Philadelphia Court records show. While details of the underlying charge(s)are not available to the public, it appears a teenaged Gregory Tony was tried in adult court and placed on adult probation. A judgment was entered on January 6, 1993.
Sheriff Tony shot and killed Hector “Chino” Rodriguez on May 3, 1993.
Records from August 9, 1994 indicate a third legal incident involving Gregory Tony, this time a traffic-related matter. Even though it was traffic-related, Tony once again received adult probation. Court records state the terms of probation for the 1994 case were not satisfied until June 14, 2001. Law enforcement sources tell REDBROWARD adult probation indicates the charge(s) were not the run-of-the-mill traffic violations.
In fact, one law enforcement source said the charges must have been so severe that Gregory Tony was unable to get a Florida Driver’s License until age 23. “This matter would raise alarms with anyone,” the source said.
A November 2005 FDLE Employment Background Investigation report was conducted when Gregory S. Tony applied to join the Coral Springs Police Department. A copy of the report lists several negative “investigative findings.” The investigator lists a 2005 charge for a bounced check, a 1990 incident involving the spray painting of a wall and driving with a suspended license in 1995-1996.
NO MORE SURPRISES?
After news of the 1993 murder of Hector “Chino” Rodriguez, broke, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony told The Sun-Sentinel, “There’s nothing else that’s going to come to light.”
The Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board wrote:
For jobs in law enforcement and those that deal with children, applicants must disclose if they’ve ever been arrested or charged, even if it happened when they were a juvenile and the record was sealed. The reason is simple: society expects the record and character of applicants for such jobs to be thoroughly vetted.
REDBROWARD reached out to Sheriff Gregory Tony and his campaign for an explanation of the incidents which resulted in probation. After being provided with copies of the court documents, Tony’s Attorney Michael Moskowitz told REDBROWARD these were simply a traffic related and case and a civil matter. He did not provide any further details into the issues which resulted in adult probation for Gregory Tony.
Last month, Sheriff Tony won the Democratic Primary. Tony will face Republican Wayne Clark on the November ballot.
Sources tell REDBROWARD there are active investigations by Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies into matters surrounding Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony.