Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Faces No-Confidence Vote

Israel said the announcement is a union "ploy" amid ongoing salary negotiations

What to Know

  • The vote of no confidence will be held by the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association.
  • The vote comes as Israel and his agency have been heavily criticized for their response to the Parkland school shooting.
  • Seventeen people were shot dead in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HIgh School.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel will face a no-confidence vote following numerous failures that have "crushed morale through the agency," the Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association said.

The move comes as Israel and his agency have been heavily criticized for their response during and after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in which 17 people, mostly teenage students, were shot dead.

In a statement, the deputies association said it scheduled the vote after "many instances of suspected malfeasance, misfeasance, failure to maintain fiduciary responsibility by the Sheriff, failure to properly investigate possible criminal conduct by members of his senior command staff and the lack of leadership that has crushed morale through the agency."

The president of the deputies association, which is represented by the International Union of Police Associations trade union, said the no-confidence vote lasts up to a week. Members of the association can vote electronically, while non-members can vote in person at its headquarters.

The vote would be a largely symbolic move that would not relieve the sheriff of his duties if passed. The starting date of the vote has not yet been revealed.

In response, BSO said that Jeff Bell, the president of the association's Local 6020 chapter, told Israel during a recent phone conversation that with the Parkland tragedy being prevalent in news coverage, that it would be an opportune time to settle contract issues.

“It is unfortunate and appalling that the IUPA union boss – in the midst of ongoing labor contract salary negotiations – is trying to use the Parkland tragedy as a bargaining tactic to extort a 6.5 percent pay raise from BSO through this ‘vote of no confidence’ ploy,” Israel said in a statement.

Bell said Israel has "gone into hiding mode ever since he got humiliated," referring to criticism Israel faces.

The association president also criticized Israel's quick condemnation of the school resource officer who the sheriff said did not run into the school as the shooting occurred. 

"You always wait for all the facts to come out first in case," Bell said. "He violated that trust between the deputies and the sheriff ... he should have our back at all costs unless we’re proven to be wrong."

The president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #53, Eddison Ricketts, sent a letter to Israel saying his group has "complete confidence" in the sheriff.

Ricketts said the group had ratified their CBA with the department and looked forward to working with Israel.

BSO has about 5,300 employees and the association represents about 1,300 of them.

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