Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has suspended Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher following a series of controversies during the 2018 election.
DeSantis made the announcement at a Friday afternoon news conference in West Palm Beach.
Bucher came under fire when her office missed the deadline to recount ballots in the U.S. Senate race during the election in November. DeSantis said the office didn't complete the recount until 50 days after the election.
"The elections office in Palm Beach County demonstrated on a national stage that they simply could not comply with the laws of the state and that Supervisor Bucher could not discharge the duties that she was supposed to discharge," DeSantis said. "They've truly been the Keystone Cops of elective administration."
DeSantis Sworn in as Florida Governor
DeSantis will be replacing her with Wendy Link, a Palm Beach County real estate lawyer. He said Link does not plan to run for reelection.
Bucher had earlier told the Sun-Sentinel she was unaware of the suspension.
"He's going to have to prove I did anything wrong," Bucher said. "They [the state] had [election] monitors here 24-7."
After the recount deadline miss, Bucher told reporters her office did everything it could, and blamed aging equipment for the delays in meeting the deadline for machine recount results. Bucher would be the second South Florida election official suspended in the wake of the 2018 election, after previous Gov. Rick Scott suspended Broward's Brenda Snipes before he left office.
In the aftermath of the election, Snipes said she would resign on Jan. 4, but Scott immediately suspended her. Snipes then attempted to rescind her resignation and challenged the governor's suspension as "malicious" and politically motivated, filing a suit against both Scott and the GOP-controlled Florida Senate.
At Friday's news conference, DeSantis said he would be accepting the resignation Snipes had tendered and was signing an executive order to end the litigation.
"We are going to move beyond this controversy," DeSantis said.
DeSantis has already suspended two other Florida officials in the less than two weeks since he's been governor, including Broward Sheriff Scott Israel and the superintendent of schools in Okaloosa County.