Gov. DeSantis names director for new Office of Election Crimes and Security

FILE: Peter Antonacci, Broward County Supervisor of Elections, talks with the news media as...
FILE: Peter Antonacci, Broward County Supervisor of Elections, talks with the news media as vote-by-mail ballots are loaded into a truck for transport to a local U.S. Postal Service office at the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Lauderhill, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)(Lynne Sladky | AP)
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 12:38 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed a director for the newly created Office of Election Crimes and Security, according to a press release.

The release from the governor’s office says Peter Antonacci will lead the new office, which will focus on investigating election crimes and keeping Florida’s elections secure. The bill creating the office was approved in March, during Florida’s most recent legislative session, and DeSantis signed it into law in April.

Antonacci has previous experience in election security, including roles as the deputy attorney general, statewide prosecutor and Broward County Supervisor of Elections.

Gov. DeSantis says Antonacci’s background makes him ideal for leading the new office, which is under the Department of State’s umbrella.

“Peter Antonacci has dedicated his career to serving the state of Florida,” said Gov. DeSantis. “I am confident he will lead the Office of Election Crimes and Security with integrity and ensure that Florida’s elections are the most secure in the nation.”

RELATED: Gov. DeSantis signs bill creating election police unit

The press release says Antonacci began his career as a trial prosecutor in the Second Judicial Court. Most recently, he served as the Director and Chief Judge of the Division of Administrative Hearings. He was appointed as the Broward County Supervisor of Elections in 2018.

Antonacci was the deputy attorney general of Florida when Bob Butterworth was attorney general in the ‘90s. He also served as Gov. Rick Scott’s General Counsel.

Florida Secretary of State and Chief Election Officer Cord Byrd says he is applauding the governor for tapping Antonacci to lead the new election crimes office.

“In Florida, our freedoms and rights are protected by the rule of law and our elections are no different. Judge Antonacci’s formidable knowledge of Florida election law and his experience as a Supervisor of Elections will ensure that our laws are enforced and that voters have confidence in our elections,” Byrd says.

Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley says he knows Antonacci is a great fit for the position since he previously worked with him.

“I trust he will serve the people of Florida with an even hand to ensure the continued fairness and sanctity of our elections process,” Earley says. “Peter understands the complexities of election law, and the need for a reserved and judicious application of the power this new office wields.”

Antonacci is a graduate of Florida State University’s School of Law.

The governor’s release says Brian Newman will takeover Antonacci’s position of Director and Chief Judge of the Division of Administrative Hearings.

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