Florida Sheriffs support Ron DeSantis in his legal fight with Andrew Warren

Andrew Warren suspended by Ron DeSantis

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The Florida Sheriffs Association plans to file a brief at the state Supreme Court to support Gov. Ron DeSantis in a battle about the suspension of Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday approved a motion by the sheriffs association to file a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.

Warren last month asked the Supreme Court to order DeSantis to reinstate him, arguing the governor exceeded his power with the suspension.

But in the motion to file the brief, the sheriffs association echoed DeSantis’ allegations that Warren had neglected his duty.

As examples, DeSantis pointed to a letter Warren signed pledging to avoid enforcing a law preventing abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and policies that could limit the prosecution of cases related to bicycle and pedestrian stops.

“The FSA (Florida Sheriffs Association) is supportive of the removal of the state attorney for abuse of his office,” the association’s motion, filed Wednesday, said. “Rather than exercising prosecutorial discretion by reviewing arrests on a case-by-case basis, the state attorney has issued blanket policies that in effect declared that his office will not prosecute certain criminal activity and has established a presumption of non-prosecution of a variety of criminal offenses, including charges that arise from a stop of a bicyclist or a pedestrian.”

The motion said the brief will “discuss the scope of the governor’s authority to remove the state attorney from office for incompetence and neglect of duty.”

Warren, a twice-elected Democrat, also filed a federal lawsuit challenging his ouster, and U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle in January ruled that the suspension violated the Florida Constitution and the U.S. Constitution.

But Hinkle said he lacked the authority to reinstate the prosecutor.

Warren has appealed that decision.

©2023 The News Service of Florida