OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is not taking any prisoners when it comes to the officials in his state.
He has just axed another state official after he was arrested on August 30, his team announced on the governor’s official website.
Jose Angel Martinez, Miami-Dade County Commissioner-District 11, was terminated by the governor after he was arrested on August 11, “for felony charges of unlawful compensation for official behavior … and conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation,” second and third-degree felonies, the governor’s office said.
“Today, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 22-215 (Executive Order of Suspension), suspending Jose Angel Martinez from his position as County Commissioner for Miami-Dade County, District 11,” the governor’s office said on its website.
“On August 30, 2022, an Information was issued against Martinez for felony charges of unlawful compensation for official behavior, in violation of section 838. 016(1), Florida Statutes, and conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation, in violation of section 838.016 and section 777. 04(3), Florida Statutes. These violations constitute felonies in the second and third degree, and it is in the best interest of the residents of Miami-Dade County that Martinez be immediately suspended from the public office that he holds. The Governor will appoint a commissioner to fill the District 11 seat in the coming weeks,” it said.
In August, he suspended a state after accusing him of putting leftist ideology over the rule of law, Fox News reported.
It was reported that DeSantis sent law enforcement officials to remove State Attorney Andrew Warren of the 13th Judicial Circuit, who is backed by George Soros, from office.
“State Attorneys have a duty to prosecute crimes as defined in Florida law, not to pick and choose which laws to enforce based on his personal agenda,” DeSantis said in a statement. “It is my duty to hold Florida’s elected officials to the highest standards for the people of Florida. I have the utmost trust that Judge Susan Lopez will lead the office through this transition and faithfully uphold the rule of law.”
DeSantis ordered, “As of the signing of this Executive Order, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by other law enforcement agencies as necessary, is requested to: (i) assist in the immediate transition of Andrew Warren from the Office of the State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida, with access only to retrieve his personal belongings; and (ii) ensure that no files, papers, documents, notes, records, computers, or removable storage media are removed from the Office of the State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida by Andrew Warren or any of his staff.”
The governor suspended state attorney Andrew Warren after he vowed not to charge abortion patients or the doctors who illegally perform the procedure to terminate a pregnancy. Warren made the pledge in June just days ahead of a state law barring the procedure after 15 weeks was to go into effect, the outlet added.
“We had the individual here from Hillsborough County say and signed letters that there are certain laws he just won’t enforce and won’t prosecute,” DeSantis told Fox News exclusively following a press conference in which he announced Warren’s suspension.
“States attorneys that put their ideology over the rule of law are not satisfying their oath of office,” said DeSantis, himself a Harvard-education lawyer and Yale graduate who served as a judge advocate in the U.S. Navy and an assistant U.S. Attorney.
In a tweet last month, Warren wrote: “The 15-week ban is unconstitutional on its face. Tallahassee knew it when it passed the bill hoping judges will ignore the privacy right in FL Constitution.”
“I put my hand on the Bible and swore to defend the US & Florida Constitutions. Florida’s Constitution has a privacy right that clearly covers abortion. While Tallahassee tries to circumvent the law, I will uphold the law and protect our freedom,” he added.
The 15-week ban is unconstitutional on its face. Tallahassee knew it when it passed the bill hoping judges will ignore the privacy right in FL Constitution.
Beware of the hypocritical “textualist”who wants the law strictly limited to the words on the page only when convenient. https://t.co/OHqv71BOeD
— Andrew Warren (@AndrewWarrenFL) June 30, 2022
But during the press conference, the governor said that Warren has refused on several occasions to enforce laws duly passed by the legislature that crack down on child sex-change operations as well as other abortion restrictions.
As part of his suspension order, DeSantis tapped Hillsborough County Court Judge Susan Lopez to replace Warren, Fox News reported.
Democrats pounced on the suspension, including his main Democratic gubernatorial opponent, Nikki Fried, the state’s Agriculture commissioner.
“This is outrageous and dangerous,” Fried tweeted, going on to call DeSantis a “wannabe dictator.”
BREAKING: Ron DeSantis, wannabe dictator, just suspended Florida State Attorney @AndrewWarrenFL for saying he wouldn't prosecute Florida's cruel and unacceptable 15-week abortion ban.
This is outrageous and dangerous.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) August 4, 2022
DeSantis defended his action, telling Fox News: “I do think that some of these prosecutors that have very militant agenda in terms of ideology have been able to get away with a lot in other states. … We’ve had prosecutors around this country that think they can pick and choose which laws to enforce.”
The state attorney “may have thought, because they get away with it in Los Angeles, they get away with it in Baltimore, that he could do this stuff in Florida,” DeSantis added. “Not on my watch … We’re going to take action, decisive action, to protect the people of the state.”