Congressman Matt Gaetz Issues Statement Following Suspension of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and Okaloosa County Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson

January 11, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) issued the following statement today in response to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ announcement to suspend Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and Okaloosa County Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson. Governor DeSantis will be replaced with Sheriff Israel with former Coral Springs Police Sergeant Gregory Tony, and Superintendent Jackson will be replaced with Okaloosa County Assistant Superintendent Marcus Chambers.

“Today Governor DeSantis sent a clear message: politicians of either party who endanger children will be suspended pending removal. Sheriff Israel went on television praising his own leadership as parents eulogized their children. An independent investigator found the Broward Sheriff’s Office inadequately trained and incompetent or untruthful. Following the physical abuse of a special needs child, a Grand Jury found Mary Beth Jackson failed to fulfill her obligation to keep children safe.

Governor DeSantis promised a new era of accountability, and he is delivering with bold action.

Two outstanding leaders will now improve public trust. Sergeant Gregory Tony brings professionalism and integrity, along with active shooter response expertise, to the job. Marcus Chambers has been a successful school principal and educational leader in Okaloosa County. I have personal observed his passion for the success of our students over many years, and he has my full trust and confidence. Governor DeSantis made an outstanding choice for Okaloosa’s academic future,” Rep. Gaetz said.