TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A special master has recommended suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel be reinstated.
The Senate will hold a special session next month to take up the issue.
Senate special master Dudley Goodlette was appointed by the Senate to look into the suspension process. In a report released Wednesday, Goodlette said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis failed to prove the charges in suspending former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
"I'm very humbled, very grateful to God for what happened today," said Israel on Wednesday afternoon.
Israel was suspended in January after intense criticism, particularly over his handling of of the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 people.
"I spent a lifetime, 40 years in law enforcement. I was elected to protect the public, and I just want to get back and do what I was elected to do," said Israel.
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The Florida Senate is scheduled to determine in Scott's fate during a special session set to begin Oct. 21.
Gov. Ron DeSantis released this statement Wednesday afternoon about the special master's recommendation:
"The victims with families impacted by the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School deserve justice and accountability. I disagree with the analysis contained in the non-binding recommendation; the senators will render their own independent judgement on Scott Israel. Floridians were appalled by Scott Israel’s repeated failures and expect their senators will provide the accountability that the Parkland families have sought for the past year and a half."
Through the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section 7(b) of the Florida Constitution, I have convened the Senate in Special Session, beginning Oct. 21 and ending Oct. 25, for consideration of the removal or reinstatement of Mr. Scott Israel as Sheriff of Broward County. pic.twitter.com/aHdT6UyF9M— Bill Galvano (@BillGalvano) September 25, 2019
WPTV and the Associated Press contributed to this report.