Busted: Ousted FL prosecutor reveals how DeSantis and cops 'were all working against' her
The Florida prosecutor ousted by Republican governor and 2024 GOP hopeful Ron DeSantis is setting the record straight when it comes to the reason behind her recent removal from office.
Earlier this year, the Orlando-area State Attorney Monique Worrell knew the governor was planning to fire her when 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."
She recently spoke with the news outlet again about how DeSantis intentionally pushed her out and how she plans to fight back.
According to the report, DeSantis "did one sheriff a huge favor by" getting rid of "Worrell just as she was about to crack down on a wide-ranging cover-up by deputies who, she says, were faking documents to hide lethal and abusive behavior."
She said, "They thought that I was overly critical of law enforcement and didn't do anything against 'real criminals.' Apparently there's a difference between citizens who commit crimes and cops who commit crimes. And they were all working against me, because I was prosecuting their cops, the ones who used to do things and get away with them."
The Beast reports:
Larry Keefe, whose chummy relationship with congressman Matt Gaetz helped him land the U.S. Attorney spot in Florida's panhandle under President Donald Trump, left the Department of Justice and became DeSantis' legal commando whose job it was to punish undocumented migrants seeking shelter in the United States. But his less explored role has been to coordinate the purely political and unceremonious removal of local prosecutors—aggressive operations that seek to embarrass Democrats all in the name of public safety.
During Worrell's transition out of her role, the report notes that the attorney's investigators were "in the final stages of a long-running investigation into corruption at the sheriff’s office in Osceola County."
Now she is "concerned that investigation could get railroaded with her DeSantis-appointed replacement, Andrew A. Bain, a former prosecutor whom the governor previously appointed as a circuit judge before giving him the reins at the Ninth Judicial District State Attorney's Office," according to the Beast.
The exclusive report also notes:
Worrell told The Daily Beast that two incidents in particular had called prosecutors' attention. In one, a deputy made headlines when he decided to repeatedly tase an annoying dirtbiker who'd led cops on a chase—only his decision to fire his taser happened at a Wawa gas station, setting off a fireball that caused injuries and was caught on tape. In the other, two deputies opened fire on a group of four men in a car at a Target parking lot who appeared to have stolen items from the store minutes earlier. One died, and two others were gravely injured.
But as the State Attorney’s own investigators dug around, they started finding evidence of police covering for each other’s lies in several other cases, she said.
The prosecutor told the news outlet that "she's less than two weeks away from making the final decision of whether or not to sue the state over the way it handled her ousting," and "already developing a plan to run for re-election next year—potentially facing her replacement as an incumbent."
Worrell was not the first prosecutor to be ousted by the GOP hopeful, as the Beast reported earlier this year that she "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."
Despite the fact DeSantis bragged during the August 23 GOP debate that he "spitefully sacked two 'radical left-wing district attorneys' in his state who 'wouldn't do their job'" — the Beast emphasizes that, instead, he "quietly conspired with local sheriffs to tarnish the reputations of these democratically elected prosecutors."
The Daily Beast's full report is available at this link (subscription required).
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