The Florida Sheriffs Association on Monday sought permission from the state Supreme Court to file a brief backing Gov. Ron DeSantis in a lawsuit about the suspension of Orlando-area State Attorney Monique Worrell.
In a motion, attorneys for the association said the friend-of-the-court brief would “highlight the legal sufficiency” of an executive order that DeSantis issued in August to suspend Worrell from her post in the 9th Judicial Circuit in Orange and Osceola counties.
Worrell, a Democrat, filed the lawsuit last month, arguing DeSantis had no legal basis to suspend her.
She disputed a series of arguments raised in DeSantis’ executive order, which, among other things, said Worrell “authorized or allowed practices or policies that have systematically permitted violent offenders, drug traffickers, serious-juvenile offenders, and pedophiles to evade incarceration, when otherwise warranted under Florida law.”
The motion filed Monday by the sheriffs association made almost identical accusations against Worrell.
“The FSA (the association) is supportive of the suspension of the state attorney for abuse of her office,” the motion said. “The state attorney has authorized and implemented practices and policies which systematically permit violent offenders, drug traffickers, serious-juvenile offenders, and pedophiles to evade incarceration when otherwise warranted under Florida law.”
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Dec. 6 in the case.
Some current and former Democratic lawmakers and former Florida Supreme Court justices have signed onto legal briefs backing Worrell.
The Florida Constitution gives the governor the authority to suspend elected officials.
The ultimate decision about removal from office rests with the Florida Senate, though the Senate has put the Worrell issue on hold because of the court challenge.
©2023 The News Service of Florida