Florida Governor Ron DeSantis just announced on the morning of Wednesday, Augusts 9th, that he has suspended Monique Worrell, State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, for dereliction of duty and incompetence.
As background, Worrell was backed by a Political Action Committee funded, in large part, by George Soros. The PAC, “Our Vote Our Voice,” spent at least $1.5 million on political ads to push Worrell into office as the top prosecutor for Orange and Osceola counties. To run those ads, the group raised $1 million from the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and $1 million from Democracy PAC, a political committee set up by George Soros.
DeSantis, when explaining why he suspended the Soros-backed Worrell, said that she had allowed highly dangerous and violent criminals, such as murderers, other violent offenders, and drug traffickers, to receive extremely lenient and reduced sentences. He characterized that leniency as a dereliction of duty.
Describing what particular crimes she didn’t prosecute with due vigor in the executive order that led to her suspension, DeSantis said her condemnable policies and practices included Avoiding Minimum Mandatory Sentences for Gun Crimes, Avoiding Minimum Mandatory Sentences for Drug Trafficking Offenses, Allowing Juvenile Offenders to Avoid Serious Charges and Incarceration Altogether, Avoiding Valid and Applicable Sentencing Enhancements, Limiting Charges for Child Pornography, and Seeking Withhold of Adjudication in Situations Not Permitted Under Florida Law.
Further, the executive order gave a plethora of examples of that dereliction of duty. One, for example, was, “Just this past weekend, Worrell was at the center of a major controversy. Daton Viel was arrested in March 2023 for sexual battery on a minor, as well as Lewd and Lascivious Molestation. That arrest was made while Viel was on probation for another offense – that probation began in February 2023. Viel was still let out on bond and thereafter shot two Orlando Police Officers.”
Commenting on the suspension in the press release about it, Governor DeSantis said, “It is my duty as Governor to ensure that the laws enacted by our duly elected Legislature are followed. The people of Central Florida deserve to have a State Attorney who will seek justice in accordance with the law instead of allowing violent criminals to roam the streets and find new victims.”
In the same press release, his Attorney General, Ashley Moody, said, “We are fortunate to have a Governor committed to the rule of law and holding officials — especially those elected to protect the public — accountable for not doing the jobs they swore an oath to do. Ms. Worrell abdicated her responsibility as the circuit’s top prosecutor and her actions undermine the safety and security of our state and Floridians.”
Governor DeSantis also posted a video on Twitter in which he described the reasons for the suspension. Captioning it, he said, “It’s my duty to protect the people of Florida. We will not tolerate a State Attorney who pursues an agenda at the expense of Floridians. Florida is a law-and-order state. As long as I’m Governor, it will stay that way.”
It’s my duty to protect the people of Florida.
We will not tolerate a State Attorney who pursues an agenda at the expense of Floridians. Florida is a law-and-order state. As long as I’m Governor, it will stay that way. pic.twitter.com/lsguX9M3Sd
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 9, 2023
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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