BROWARD (CBSMiami) — Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony is facing a “no confidence” vote from his deputies in his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
A letter released by the BSO Deputies Association lists several reasons for the vote which will happen over the course of this week.
It comes just days after Sheriff Tony suspended Union President Jeff Bell, who accused Sheriff Tony of failing to protect deputies from the coronavirus in an open letter published in the Sun Sentinel newspaper.
In that letter, Bell claimed that deputies were complaining that they did not have enough personal protection equipment or PPE’s.
That led to several days of back and forth between Bell and the Sheriff, eventually leading to Bell’s suspension. The Sheriff said Bell violated BSO policies and procedures.
Bell said he was suspended for blowing the whistle on dangerous conditions and Bell’s attorney said the suspension is a violation of whistleblower laws.
“Jeff Bell had complaints, they didn’t have enough equipment. Jeff voices those concerns, he does his job, he gets suspended, suspended with pay. It’s illegal, it’s immoral and a violation of all laws,” said Bell’s attorney, Eric Schwartzreich.
Sheriff Tony released a statement, saying:
“Deputy Bell is not a victim of abuse of powers, nor was his suspension a matter of retaliation. He is a deputy of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, and thereby subject to comply with all agency policy. All BSO employees are accountable for their actions, regardless of any ancillary role or title they may possess.”