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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – On the day that Florida’s new governor was sworn into office, Broward County’s top may be heading out the door.
CBS4 News has learned that Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has been telling his staff that he expects to be removed from office in the coming days.
Additionally, CBS4 has confirmed that former Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti has been contacted by representatives of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis about stepping in if Israel is removed.
There is no guarantee that Lamberti would be chosen for the role. He is one of several names under consideration.
DeSantis, who was sworn into office as Florida’s new governor earlier in the day, has not made any kind of formal announcement on the status of Israel’s job.
Still, rumors are abound that Israel’s time as Broward’s sheriff is coming to an end.
“It will likely happen this week and really the reason to do it; his performance at Stoneman Douglas,” said Rosemary O’Hara, Sun-Sentinel editorial page editor.
Israel is a two-term sheriff that has faced stark criticism over the way BSO handled the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last February.
17 people were killed and 17 more were injured on Valentine’s Day when Nikolas Cruz walked through an open gate, into the MSD freshman building and opened fire.
Israel has lawyered up and is likely to fight a suspension in the Florida state senate and possibly in federal court.
“As of this moment there has been no communication through any official channels from the governor or his representative in connection with the governor making a decision,” said attorney Stuart Kaplan.
“If he does not win his job back in six months it is highly likely, knowing this guy, he will run for re-election again,” said O’Hara.
During a November meeting of the MSD Safety Commission, Israel was brought in to answer questions.
He was asked about a perceived lack of urgency from initial arriving deputies at the school, who, in some cases, did not immediately run toward the gunfire and did not have annual active shooter training.
Israel said that any deputies who are found to have acted inappropriately or failed to act, would be dealt with.
“If we find out they will be disciplined and they will be disciplined swiftly,” Israel said, adding that he’s waiting for the Commission’s findings before proceeding with his own review.
Commission members also grilled Israel over BSO’s policy for deputies dealing with an active shooter.
They said the policy as written provided deputy’s discretion on whether to confront the shooter. Israel promised to revisit the policy.
“Make no mistake about it, our deputies will go in and they will insert themselves into harm’s way just not in a suicidal manner,” he told the Commission.