After finding out sheriff lied to Coral Springs police, FDLE sends case to state ethics commission • Coral Springs Talk
By Kevin Deutsch
The Florida Law Enforcement Department said Thursday it had sent the findings of its investigation into Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony to the Florida Ethics Commissionsetting the stage for a process that could jeopardize the sheriff’s job.
The FDLE report on Tony, released on Monday, found he told several lies in official government records, including lies about his Coral Springs Police Department application files, an affidavit he signed when he became the new sheriff of Broward and an application for a replacement Florida driver’s license filed in Lakes Lauderdale.
The lies happened too long ago for criminal charges to be filed, and Florida The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles clerk’s brief on the license renewal case is too patchy for the state to prove the ‘criminal allegations’ beyond a reasonable doubt, prosecutors said of the State in a note made public alongside the conclusions of the FDLE.
Instead, prosecutors suggested the FDLE submit all documents generated by its investigation to the Florida Ethics Commission in Tallahassee.
“The investigation has been submitted,” said FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger. Talking about Coral Springs Thusday.
The Florida Commission on Ethics is a nine-member independent commission formed in 1974 to review complaints filed under the statutory code of ethics.
If the Ethics Commission believes that a violation of the law may have occurred, it may decide to hold a public hearing. If he finds that a violation has occurred, he can recommend civil penalties, including removal from office or employment and fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
While state officials have said Tony will not face criminal charges for lying on official records, he could face temporary or permanent suspension by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Governor who appointed him sheriff in January 2019, with or without the recommendation of the ethics commission.
Under Florida law, DeSantis has the authority to suspend any local official for embezzlement and other improprieties. The suspended official also has the right to appeal the governor’s decision to the Florida Senate.
The governor said this week that his office is revision the conclusions of the FDLE.
FDLE investigators, who opened an investigation into Tony after receiving a complaint, said their investigation found he lied about his arrest history when he applied to join the Coral Springs Police Department in 2005. He was hired by the city and rose to the rank of sergeant. .
Before being offered a job with the local force, Tony did not reveal that he was arrested for fatally shooting a man in Philadelphia in 1993 when he was 14, according to FDLE.
Tony was charged with murder, the agency said, and later found not guilty, after arguing the murder was an act of self-defense.
He did not mention his arrest for murder in Coral Springs police application files or in the official sheriff’s affidavit after he took office, according to FDLE.
He also lied about his past drug use and history of trafficking citations on various official documents, the FDLE found.
“It should also be noted that, while it appears that Tony knowingly and deliberately misled officials in the performance of their official duties by making false statements in writing on his official requests (regarding his traffic citation, his drug use and arrest history) to members of the CSPD, a criminal prosecution of those actions would be nullified by … Florida’s statute of limitations,” the investigators wrote.
EI-14-0173 Electronic Handset Summary with Addendum (UPDATED)_Redacted
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Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime reporter and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on the staff of the Miami Herald, New York Daily News and Palm Beach Post.