Gov. Ron DeSantis Suspends Elected Prosecutor Who Refused To Comply With Florida’s Anti-Abortion Laws
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced at a Thursday press conference that he is suspending twice-elected Hillsborough County state attorney Andrew Warren (D) for refusing to prosecute doctors who perform gender-affirming procedures and those seeking or providing abortions.
DeSantis accused Warren of putting “himself publicly above the law.”
“Not enforcing the law, that’s a neglect of duty. That, quite frankly, is incompetence by Florida law,” DeSantis said. “Saying you’re not going to enforce the law is a dereliction of duty.”
Warren responded soon after.
“Today’s political stunt is an illegal overreach that continues a dangerous pattern by Ron DeSantis of using his office to further his own political ambition,” he wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “It spits in the face of the voters of Hillsborough County who have twice elected me to serve *them*, not Ron DeSantis.”
Today’s political stunt is an illegal overreach that continues a dangerous pattern by Ron DeSantis of using his office to further his own political ambition. It spits in the face of the voters of Hillsborough County who have twice elected me to serve *them*, not Ron DeSantis… pic.twitter.com/RzPXksSSWa
— Andrew Warren (@AndrewWarrenFL) August 4, 2022
“In our community, crime is low, our Constitutional rights—including the right to privacy—are being upheld & the people have the right to elect their own leaders—not have them dictated by an aspiring presidential candidate who has shown time & again he feels accountable to no one,” Warren added.
Warren told multiple media outlets that he is focused on working on two cold cases that have new leads. He did not say what his plans are to legally combat DeSantis’ executive order, and it is unclear what will happen if he continues to work. DeSantis has already appointed a replacement for Warren in Hillborough County Circuit Court Judge Susan Lopez.
Florida Democrats accused DeSantis of being a bully and “acting more like a dictator than a governor.”