TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (IRN) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced the suspension of George Soros-backed State Attorney Monique Worrell of the 9th Judicial Circuit, citing her alleged neglect of duty and incompetence in handling criminal prosecutions. The move comes after concerns were raised about her practices and policies, which have been criticized for allowing violent criminals to evade appropriate consequences for their actions.
In an official statement, Governor DeSantis invoked his authority under Article IV, Section 7 of the Florida Constitution to suspend State Attorney Worrell. The suspension is based on allegations that her handling of criminal cases has endangered the safety of residents in Orange and Osceola counties by failing to ensure that violent criminals are held accountable for their actions.
Former Judge Andrew Bain has been appointed by the Governor to serve as the State Attorney for the duration of Worrell’s suspension. Andrew Bain brings a wealth of legal experience to the role, having previously served as an Orange County judge in the 9th Judicial Circuit and as an Assistant State Attorney under State Attorney Jeffrey L. Ashton. Bain earned his law degree from Florida A&M University College of Law and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami.
Governor DeSantis emphasized the importance of upholding the rule of law and ensuring that those entrusted with upholding justice fulfill their responsibilities. He stated, “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.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody also weighed in on the suspension, expressing support for the Governor’s decision. She commended Governor DeSantis for holding elected officials accountable for their actions, especially when those actions compromise public safety. Moody said, “Ms. Worrell abdicated her responsibility as the circuit’s top prosecutor, and her actions undermine the safety and security of our state and Floridians.”
This suspension follows earlier concerns raised by Senator Rick Scott regarding the handling of criminal cases in the 9th Judicial Circuit. In a letter dated February 28, 2023, Senator Scott urged State Attorney Worrell to address the issue of violent crime and accountability in the region. He specifically referenced a series of heinous murders in Pine Hills and demanded answers and accountability.
In the letter, Senator Scott criticized what he called a “soft-on-crime” agenda and emphasized the importance of maintaining law and order. He highlighted the tragic consequences of lenient policies that fail to hold criminals accountable for their actions. Senator Scott’s letter underscored the need for swift justice and accountability to ensure the safety of Florida communities.
This is the right move. Democrats’ soft-on-crime policies are eroding our communities and families' ability to feel safe.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) August 9, 2023
In February, I called on SA Monique Worrell to deliver the justice and accountability needed for the families affected by shootings in her district and said… https://t.co/IGqpsdJp98
I’ve said since February that SA Worrell’s suspension would be justified, and I’m glad the Governor took this action today.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) August 9, 2023
Florida will never be a sanctuary state for criminals. https://t.co/JO2CmTCWnK
Republican figures across Florida have expressed their views on Worrell’s suspension.
It’s my duty to protect the people of Florida.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 9, 2023
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
As prosecutors, we protect public safety by upholding the laws of this state, even the laws with which we may personally disagree.— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) August 9, 2023
Exercising discretion does not mean abdicating responsibility. pic.twitter.com/4xu3mxTMDj
I am appointing Judge Andrew Bain to step in and take over the duties of the State Attorney’s Office in the 9th Circuit.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 9, 2023
The people of Central Florida deserve a State Attorney that will prosecute criminals and keep our communities safe.
The residents of Central Florida expect their State Attorney to actively pursue justice, hold criminals responsible for their actions, and protect the public from those who wish to cause harm.— Paul Renner (@Paul_Renner) August 9, 2023
NEW OFFER > The @FloridaGOP will pay the moving costs for Soros-backed Radicals Monique Worrell & Andrew Warren to relocate to any other state. Both can pick any of the other 49 states.— Christian Ziegler 🇺🇸 (@ChrisMZiegler) August 9, 2023
The moving costs are nothing compared to the increased public safety our state would receive!
-2 Soros Prosecutors— Evan Power (@EvanPower) August 9, 2023
Florida leads the way! https://t.co/G9wpcCHwbu
Worrell posted on X (formerly Twitter) calling her suspension a “loss of democracy” and claimed Governor DeSantis was bullying her, calling the Governor a dictator. She also attacked his Presidential Campaign, calling it a “disaster.”
Today we mourn the loss of democracy. I am the duly-elected State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit. Nothing done by a weak dictator can change that. This is an outrage. I will not be bullied by DeSantis or used as a tool in his failing and disastrous presidential campaign. pic.twitter.com/OVn4E1v54p— Monique H. Worrell (@MoniqueHWorrell) August 9, 2023
Florida Democrat State Representatives Ashely Gantt (D-Miami), Angie Nixon (D-Jacksonville), Michele Rayner (D-St. Petersburg) and LaVon Bracy Davis (D-Ocoee) held a virtual press conference regarding the suspension of Worrell.
Warren was suspended due to “incompetence and willful defiance of duties” due to signing a statement pledging to not enforce Florida law in favor of transgender pseudoscience medical treatments and other related transgender matters.
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