Death of Florida official in the Capitol raises questions, calls for transparency

Aerial photo of downtown Tallahassee, Florida and the State Capitol
Aerial photo of downtown Tallahassee, Florida and the State Capitol. By felixmizioznikov via iStock for WMNF.



A Florida official was dead or dying in a hallway in the governor’s office complex for 24 minutes before anyone noticed he had collapsed after leaving a meeting last year. Now one Florida journalist has questions.

Peter Antonacci was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis as the director of the Office of Election Crimes and Security.

He was reportedly agitated as he left a meeting at the Capitol early. He was found dead more than 20 minutes later.

“He died in a hallway outside the governor’s office. Stop there. That alone should have been sufficient reason for the state government to be fully transparent with what happened.”

Steve Bousquet is the opinion editor for the South Florida Sun Sentinel, and knew Antonacci for 35 years.

He published an opinion piece about the death, calling it “a political mystery that’s still not fully resolved.”

He questioned the lack of an autopsy. Antonocci was pronounced dead by a doctor at the emergency room.

“They should explain, as best they can, what happened. It’s not a private matter when it occurs in the state capitol of Florida, and involves something as important and as controversial as voter fraud and voting investigations.”

Investigative newspaper The Florida Bulldog last weekend reported details of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s report on the death. The Associated Press independently reviewed the report, which states Antonacci had a long history of heart disease and surgery.


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