FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) – A new Broward Supervisor of Elections will be sworn in on Thursday.
Gov. Rick Scott suspended embattled Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes even though Snipes had already agreed to step down from her post in early January.
Scott replaced Snipes with his former general counsel Peter Antonacci even though he has no elections experience.
Chief Judge Jack Tuter, who currently serves as the Chief Judge of Florida’s 17th Judicial Circuit, will swear Antonacci in at the Broward Court House at 11 a.m. Also in attendance will be former Attorney General Bob Butterworth who will be acting in an honorary capacity and will be holding a Bible for the swearing in.
Snipes has since rescinded her previous resignation and plans to “fight this to the very end.”
Snipes has been the top elections official in the south Florida county since 2003 when then-Gov. Jeb Bush appointed her. She came under withering criticism for her handling of this year’s elections, as well as its legally required recount in close races for governor and U.S. Senate. She had been elected three times and her current term was not scheduled to end until 2020.
In his executive order, Scott said he was suspending Snipes due to misfeasance, incompetence, and neglect of duty. His order cited problems during the recount, including reports of more than 2,000 ballots being misplaced. She also came under fire in 2017 after she destroyed year-old ballots in violation of the law. Shortly after the recount started, Scott himself suggested possible fraud but never offered any concrete examples.
Antonacci has held a number of posts at the governor’s direction. Antonacci also played a pivotal role in the controversial decision to force the ouster of Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey in 2015. Antonacci has been president of Florida’s economic development agency since last year.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)