FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Twenty-eight veterans of the Broward Sheriff’s Office received an email Tuesday evening notifying them that they would no longer have jobs on January 8th when Sheriff-elect Scott Israel takes over.
The 28 men and women are from the Law Enforcement, Fire and Detention departments at BSO.
Commander Michael Calderin received an email.
Calderin, a 12-year veteran of BSO who oversees Crimestoppers and serves as a liaison with many community groups, said the termination is not a surprise.
“(Sheriff-elect Israel) has every right to decide who’s going to serve on his team,” Calderin told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “It’s definitely not based on my performance.”
Calderin said no matter how prepared he was, it’s still difficult to leave an agency he was proud to work for.
“When you’ve done a good job and you’ve been committed to the agency and the people of Broward County and you’re told essentially thank you for your service but your services are no longer needed, it’s a bit of a smack in the face,” Calderin said.
Calderin said it was challenging to tell his staff that he would no longer be their leader.
“It was harder telling them than it was hearing the message,” Calderin said.
Sheriff-elect Scott Israel acknowledged the changes and said it’s part of a new regime taking over.
“I feel very very strongly that there are major changes needed in the Broward Sheriff’s Office,” Israel told CBS 4 News Wednesday evening. “A leader is obligated to build his or her leadership team.”
Also on Wednesday, Israel’s transition team announced several new members of his command staff.
Calderin did say that learning of his termination via email was a bit questionable but said he was glad to learn of the change prior to January 8th.
“Certainly the message delivery they need to brush up on but I certainly appreciated the advanced notice,” Calderin said.
A high-ranking person at BSO said it was unprofessional for the new sheriff to inform these law enforcement veterans of their firing by email.
Israel told me he should have had an office in this building to be able to tell people face to face. However, he said Sheriff Lamberti did not allow him to have that.
“I should’ve been given an office,” Israel said. “I should have sat down personally with them across the desk.”
Israel’s team says with more than 63-hundred employees at BSO, the termination of 28 of them is a small number. In the past, Israel’s team said other incoming sheriff’s had more turnover when there were fewer employees.