BROWARD (CBSMiami) – Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony is pushing back again against new troubling reports from his past.
Earlier this month it was revealed Tony shot and killed a man while growing up in North Philadelphia.
Tony was 14 years old and says it was self-defense. According to a Philadelphia police report, witnesses backed up his story and he was found not guilty. Because of that, Tony has never mentioned what happened while applying for law enforcement positions.
Now, according to the Tallahassee Police Department, when Tony applied for a job 17 years ago, he admitted to using the psychedelic drug LSD. Because of that, he was rejected for a department job.
But later when he applied to work for the Coral Springs police Department, he failed to mention that he applied to the Tallahassee Police Department.
On a radio show Wednesday morning, Tony said he’s been the victim of a “smear campaign.”
“It’s not about an application it’s about serving the community,” he said. “I hate to say this but every time a minority candidate runs he’s portrayed with a gun or needle in his arm.”
Tony said he wants the public to judge him by the job he’s done while sheriff, including holding deputies accountable and raising standards.
Tony who was appointed sheriff by Gov. Ron DeSantis is in a tight August primary race in a crowded Democratic field that includes former Sheriff Scott Israel who was removed from office.
Tony has sent out a flyer to Broward voters explaining the shooting that happened in the 1990s. The campaign flyer shows Tony’s former childhood home with the words: “I was 14 when gun violence broke through my door.”
“Surviving that assault inspired me to get a good FSU education and become a sheriff to help others.”
Drama and Broward politics go hand in hand, according to Mitch Cesar, the longtime former Broward county chair
“Welcome to the world of Broward politics,” said Cesar. “It’s exciting and can be uncomfortable.”
Cesar said the sheriff races are usually contentious and experience counts. But he added the pandemic could have an unexpected impact on the August primary.
Cesar said health concerns could influence whether people go to the polls, and he expects a lot of people will vote by absentee ballot.
“We don’t know how that could affect the outcome of the election,” he said.