Broward County Sheriff Receives Vote of No Confidence From Deputies Union

No confidence’ vote on Sheriff Israel is in – and the results are overwhelming

After delivering a resounding vote of no confidence on Thursday, members of the Broward County Sheriff's union want Sheriff Scott Israel removed from office signifying their distaste with the leader's media-centric response to the Parkland school shooting.

The Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association vote was 534-94, with union President Jeff Bell vowing to ask Scott to consider removing Israel and praising the "great courage" of members who voted "under threat of retaliation and reprisal". Bell said it was his union's first vote of no confidence against a sheriff.

The vote is mostly symbolic as Israel is an elected official, but could force state officials - including the office of Gov. Rick Scott - to consider possible actions against the two-term sheriff. I will not be distracted from my duties by this inconsequential IUPA union vote, which was created to extort a 6.5 percent pay raise from this agency.

"Those who purportedly voted in this straw ballot reflect only a small number of the 5,400 BSO employees", Israel said.

"As your largest union, we support you and have confidence in how you are running this large complex agency", said the letter from the public employees' union.

Add in the alarming reports about the shooter's brother being arrested on campus and a BSO deputy getting caught sleeping while on duty that same day at Stoneman Douglas and it is easy to understand why Israel is finding few willing to defend him.


Another union, the Federation of Public Employees, voted 1,111 to 38 in support of Israel. The actual power to remove the sheriff from office is in the hands of the state Senate.

Israel said in a statement that he was accountable only to the citizens of the county. It's the second largest union at BSO representing more than a thousand road patrol deputies.

A union of rank-and-file deputies on Thursday afternoon will reveal the results of its "no confidence" vote in Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

If the governor doesn't act, "That means that the governor agrees the sheriff is an unbelievable leader", Bell said.

Last week I pointed out this vote was coming. And what's changed since then? Really only one thing: "I denied them a 6.5 percent raise". Currently, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating Broward Sheriff's Office actions relating to shooter Nikolas Cruz's slaughter of 14 students and three teachers on February 14. Israel, meanwhile, has positioned this vote as merely a means of getting pay raises - what he actually described as "extortion" - even as Bell stated pay raises were not the driving factor. Israel said shortly after the shooting that Peterson should have rushed into the building to confront and kill Cruz.

They also say morale at the department is low, and that issues have been simmering for years, but boiled over after the shooting. He said only deputies accused of crimes are placed on unpaid leave and Peterson has never been charged.

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