DeSantis Suspends Orlando's Top Prosecutor

Accuses state attorney of 'allowing violent criminals to roam the streets'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 9, 2023 9:39 AM CDT
DeSantis Suspends a 2nd Florida Prosecutor
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a fundraising event on Sunday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday suspended the top prosecutor in Orlando, saying she had neglected her duty to prosecute criminals. "It is my duty as governor to ensure that the laws enacted by our duly elected Legislature are followed," DeSantis said during a news conference announcing the suspension of State Attorney Monique Worrell of the 9th Judicial Circuit, which serves Orange and Osceola counties. This is the second elected state attorney DeSantis has suspended in the past year, the AP reports, and the New York Times calls it a "drastic and exceedingly rare step of removing an elected state attorney." DeSantis cited three criminal cases in his suspension of Worrell, per the Times, one of which involved the shooting of two Orlando cops over the weekend.

Last August he removed Andrew Warren, the Tampa area state attorney, from office, accusing him of neglect of duty and incompetence. Warren, who like Worrell is a Democrat, joined other prosecutors across the country in signing statements opposing criminal charges against abortion providers or women seeking abortions. Warren also said he wouldn't prosecute people for providing gender-affirming health care, and his office's policies didn't charge people with some minor crimes. The governor appointed Andrew Bain, an Orange County judge, to replace Worrell. Bain previously served as assistant state attorney in Orlando. "The people of Central Florida deserve to have a state attorney who will seek justice in accordance with the law instead of allowing violent criminals to roam the streets and find new victims," DeSantis said.

(More Ron DeSantis stories.)

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