Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman July 12, 2018

No, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel was not fired by Gov. Rick Scott

A false story on Facebook says Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has been fired in a cover-up stemming from the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

"Broward County Sheriff fired for lying about Parkland," said the July 3 headline on Your News Wire, a frequent purveyor of fake news.

Facebook users flagged this story as part of its efforts to combat false news and misinformation on Facebook's News Feed. Read more about our partnership with Facebook.

While the headline and the first paragraph says that Israel has been fired, the story was lifted from another website that said Israel will be fired.

Big League Politics, a website with a conservative bent, wrote on July 3 that Israel was set to be removed the following week for unspecified "criminal issues" following an investigation by Gov. Rick Scott. It cited information from an anonymous source at the sheriff’s office. The story was written by Laura Loomer, a conservative activist we have written about before.

We emailed Loomer and did not get a reply. We also did not get a reply from Your News Wire.

Featured Fact-check

Israel’s personal attorney Stuart Kaplan said on the WFTL-850 morning show disputed Loomer’s report. We didn’t get a response from Israel’s media relations staff at the sheriff’s office.

The idea that Scott was going to suspend Israel has not been reported by other credible news outlets. We asked Scott’s office if he plans to suspend Israel, and a spokeswoman said that he will review the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation once it is complete.

Scott ordered that investigation into the law enforcement response in February following the Valentine’s Day shooting. Israel has faced scrutiny for his office’s response to the shooting, including the fact that the school resource officer, Scot Peterson, took position outside of the school rather than go in and engage the shooter. The department is months away from finalizing its investigation and then will submit it to the Broward state attorney for review, an FDLE spokeswoman said.

The governor has the power to suspend public officials for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or commission of a felony. Scott has largely suspended public officials who have been accused of crimes.

If Scott removes Israel, a Democrat, he could appoint a replacement in the Democratic-majority county. (Scott, a Republican, is running against Democrat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in the Nov. 6 election.)

PolitiFact evaluates information using on-the-record sources and information as of the time that a person or website makes a claim. At the time of this fact-check, he has not been fired. We rate this headline Pants on Fire.

Our Sources

Your News Wire, "Broward County Sheriff Fired For Lying About Parkland," July 3, 2018

Big League Politics, "EXCLUSIVE: Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel To Be Removed Next Week," July 3, 2018

WPLG Channel 10, "Scott Israel's attorney denies report Broward sheriff will be removed from office," July 5, 2018

Tampa Bay Times, "Uncharted territory: Could Rick Scott suspend the Broward sheriff?" Feb. 26, 2018

Florida Constitution, Suspensions; filling office during suspensions, Accessed July 11, 2018

PolitiFact, "Was Broward County one of three counties 'pivotal' for Obama?" May 3, 2013

PolitiFact, "What's true, what's not about Santa Fe, Texas, school shooting," May 18, 2018

PolitiFact, "No, Maxine Waters is not facing criminal charges," June 29, 2018

PolitiFact, "Fact-checking Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s 'fact-checks' about Parkland shooting," March 29, 2018

Interview, Gretl Plessinger, Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman, July 11, 2018

Interview, Ashley Cook, Gov. Rick Scott spokeswoman, July 11, 2018

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Amy Sherman

No, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel was not fired by Gov. Rick Scott

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up