'Not based in fact': FL prosecutor blasts DeSantis for 'shameful' attempt to remove her from office
Florida prosecutor Monique Worrell is speaking out against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' alleged attempt to campaign for her removal from office, The Daily Beast reports.
Per Politico, the governor has publicly ridiculed the way Worrell's office handled the recent case of Keith Moses,"the 19-year-old man accused of killing three people in Orlando, including a television reporter."
Subsequently, according to The Daily Beast, Worrell "has emerged as the next Democratic prosecutor targeted by DeSantis after his office booted Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren earlier this year over his refusal to prosecute abortion patients."
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However, the founding director of the University of Florida's Criminal Justice Center believes DeSantis and local sheriff, John Mina, have been conspiring to oust her from her position for some time now.
The Daily Beast reports:
Worrell told The Daily Beast on Friday that testimony during Warren’s trial showed that Mina, who ran for sheriff as a Democrat, had long wanted Worrell out as well. He told investigators that Worrell was also a "George Soros-funded prosecutor who's antagonistic to law enforcement" who "should also be removed,” she told The Daily Beast.
"There's definitely a target across my back and it has nothing to do with anything that I've done, but just simply with the fact that the governor wants full control over Florida politics and he doesn't respect the will of the electorate," Worrell said.
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On Tuesday, DeSantis' general counsel demanded that Worrell turn over emails, reports and documents related to Moses, including his juvenile record.
The request is significant because the general counsel’' office handled the contentious suspension of Tampa prosecutor Andrew Warren.
According to Politico, Ryan Newman, asked Worrell "how Moses was allowed to 'remain on the streets after multiple arrests, including one your office has refused to prosecute.'" The 19-year-old "was arrested last November for possession of marijuana, but authorities said his juvenile arrest record includes more serious charges," Politico reports.
"It is my responsibility to defend my team and explain to the community that the accusations against this office are not based in fact and to educate the community on all of the components that go into supporting incidents like what happened last week," Worrell said.
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According to The Daily Beast, regarding Moses' case, DeSantis told reporters earlier this week, "I know the state attorney in Orlando thinks that you don’t prosecute people, and that’s the way that somehow you have better communities. That does not work."
Worrell asserted the letter from DeSantis' general counsel is "nothing more than a factless 'fishing expedition.'"
Florida GOP Senator Rick Scott made clear his position on the matter by responding to the governor's words, tweeting, "If the failures we suspect are confirmed, Gov. DeSantis would be right to remove her."
In response, Worrell said, "Governor DeSantis and Senator Scott have come in and decided to politicize this by taking attacks against me, without even having the decency to reach out to the families and offer their condolences. It's shameful."
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She continued, "The conversation needs to be around: what can we do to reduce the likelihood that this will ever happen again?"
Echoing Worrell, attorney Mark NeJame, who represents the families of two of the shooting victims, said, "What DeSantis and Scott have done is intentionally tried to mislead and confuse the public so they don't have to deal with the real issue of gun violence and sane gun laws."
The Daily Beast reports:
In Worrell’s view, lawmakers have seized on the two tragic deaths to raise their own political profile and power against the will of the electorate.
NeJame further noted, "It's clear that Monique Worrell is a political adversary of this power hungry governor and Senator Scott, and what they're doing is attempting to capitalize on the death of this child and this young reporter for their own political benefit."
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The Daily Beast's full report is available at this link (subscription required). Politico's full report is here.
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