Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis dismissed Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren on Thursday for his refusal to prosecute certain crimes.
DeSantis on Thursday signed an executive order suspending the Democrat state attorney on the grounds of “neglect of duty” and “incompetence.”
Under Florida’s state constitution, the governor is allowed to suspend any state or county officer on grounds such as “malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties or commission of a felony.”
Warren enacted a policy to not prosecute “certain criminal violations, including trespassing at a business location, disorderly conduct, disorderly intoxication and prostitution,” DeSantis said in his executive order.
“We’ve seen across this country, over the last few years, individual prosecutors take it upon themselves to determine which laws they like and will enforce and which laws they don’t like,” DeSantis said.
“The Constitution of Florida has vested the veto in the governor, not in individual state attorneys. When you flagrantly violate your oath of office, when you make yourself above the law, you have violated your duty,” the governor said.
Warren has been a long-term critic of DeSantis, who in the past criticized the governor’s anti-riot calling it a solution “in search of a problem” and slammed DeSantis’ idea of creating an election security force, Tampa Bay Times reported.
Warren has also signed letters refusing to enforce bans on gender-transition surgeries for minors or laws against abortion.
“Our government is a government of laws, not a government of men,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis made the decision to suspend Warren after finding out that when his staff began contacting police and prosecutors in Warren’s jurisdiction, Warren’s name came up multiple times, the Times reported.
“It all came back to this area here, in the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County,” DeSantis said.
“And the response that we got was a lot of frustration on the part of law enforcement for criminals being let go and crimes not being prosecuted,” he said.
“Today, @GovRonDeSantis announces we are suspending Soros-backed 13th circuit state attorney Andrew Warren for neglecting his duties as he pledges not to uphold the laws of the state,” Kyle Lamb, a data analyst with DeSantis’ office, wrote in a tweet.
“It is dangerous to Floridians that state attorneys are neglecting criminal prosecution.”
Today, @GovRonDeSantis announces we are suspending Soros-backed 13th circuit state attorney Andrew Warren for neglecting his duties as he pledges not to uphold the laws of the state.
It is dangerous to Floridians that state attorneys are neglecting criminal prosecution.
— Kyle Lamb (@kylamb8) August 4, 2022
“Ron DeSantis is so hellbent on banning abortion and throwing doctors in jail he’s willing to overturn the will of Florida voters and suspend a democratically elected state attorney,” DNC spokesman Ammar Moussa said in response to the suspension, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail.
“It’s fundamentally un-American and a clear demonstration of what extremes DeSantis will go to to infringe on Floridans’ freedoms,'” he said.
Warren will be replaced by Judge Susan Lopez, the governor’s office said.
CORRECTION, Aug. 6, 2022: The Western Journal has removed the description of Andrew Warren as “Soros-Funded” from this headline. That statement was based on an unsubstantiated claim in a tweet by Kyle Lamb, a data analyst with the Executive Office of the Governor in Florida, and therefore clearly not a disinterested source, who called Warren “Soros-backed” but made no specific claims regarding funding. Warren himself, when asked by the Tampa Bay Times about whether he had received money from Soros, was apparently unable to answer:
“‘We think so,’ Warren said. ‘We understand that he gave money to the state (Democratic) party. And the state party money … went to support different candidates. And I have very little insight into the amount of money he gave, who it went to, etc.'”
We also corrected Lamb’s job description, which was erroneously given as “communications officer.” Lamb is a data analyst.
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