Governor Rick Scott announced late Friday afternoon that he has suspended Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes from office and has replaced her with a former Palm Beach County State Attorney.
Scott said Snipes was suspended from office for misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty.
Snipes had previously indicated she planned to retire early next year.
Snipes has been the top elections official in the South Florida county since 2003 when then-Gov. Jeb Bush appointed her. She came under withering criticism for her handling of this year's elections in the populous county as well as its legally required recount in close races for governor and U.S. Senate.
Snipes acknowledged that her office had misplaced more than 2,000 ballots during the recount.
“Every eligible voter in Florida deserves their vote to be counted and should have confidence in Florida’s elections process. After a series of inexcusable actions, it’s clear that there needs to be an immediate change in Broward County and taxpayers should no longer be burdened by paying a salary for a Supervisor of Elections who has already announced resignation," Gov. Scott said in a statement.
He appointed Peter Antonacci to serve out Snipes's term until voters pick a new supervisor in 2020.
"I know that Pete will be solely focused on running free and fair elections, will not be running for election and will bring order and integrity back to this office," the governor said.
Antonacci is the President and CEO of Enterprise Florida and has served as Executive Director of the South Florida Water Management District as well as State Attorney in Palm Beach County.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.