FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A lawsuit filed by suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was at the center of a court hearing Monday afternoon.
Israel filed the suit earlier this month, saying Gov. Ron DeSantis improperly ousted him for political reasons.
The governor is asking a judge to dismiss that lawsuit, saying Israel was suspended for neglect of duty and incompetence because of his agency's handling of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018.
14 students and three staff members were killed in the attack, allegedly carried out by 20-year-old Nikolas Cruz.
"The massacre may never have happened had Broward had better leadership in the Sheriff's Department," Gov. DeSantis said at a news conference in Broward County back in January.
According to Israel's lawsuit, Gov. DeSantis did "not identify or describe any mandatory duty neglected or incompetently fulfilled by Sheriff Israel," and therefore the executive order "is an invalid exercise of authority."
Israel has already said he intends to run for office next year.
A state commission investigating the massacre recently concluded Israel's changes to the department's active shooter policy may have contributed to some deputies' inaction during the school shooting.
Both sides argue their case on Monday afternoon. A judge did not immediately rule on the matter.