Gov. DeSantis suspends State Attorney Andrew Warren

Warren’s suspension is indefinite.
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at Miami's Freedom Tower, May 9, 2022. Florida’s new...
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at Miami's Freedom Tower, May 9, 2022. Florida’s new 15-week abortion was blocked and then quickly reinstated after an appeal from the state attorney general in a lawsuit challenging the restriction. Judge John C. Cooper issued the order temporarily halting the law after reproductive health providers argued that the state constitution guarantees the right to the procedure. The state quickly appealed his order, automatically putting the law back into effect Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File)(Marta Lavandier | AP)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - On Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis suspended State Attorney Andrew Warren of the 13th Judicial Circuit, according to a press release from the Governor’s Office.

“State Attorneys have a duty to prosecute crimes as defined in Florida law,” Gov. DeSantis said. “It is my duty to hold Florida’s elected officials to the highest standards for the people of Florida.”

The reasons cited in the Governor’s Executive Order were “neglect of duty’ and ‘incompetence,” with the Governor accusing Warren in the release of picking and choosing “which laws to enforce based on his personal agenda.”

The Executive Order cites Warren signing a ‘Joint Statement’ with other elected prosecutors in support of gender-transition treatments for children and bathroom usage based on gender identity. Also signing the joint statement is Monique H. Worrell, State Attorney 9th Judicial Circuit Court.

While there are no state laws criminalizing either of these two acts, the Executive Order claims that the joint statement proves “Warren thinks he has the authority to defy the Florida Legislature and nullify in his jurisdiction criminal laws with which he disagrees.”

The Executive Order cites another “Joint Statement” from June 24 which said in part that “enforcing abortion bans runs counter to the obligations and interests we are sworn to uphold” and “criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice; prosecutors should not be part of that.”

Warren’s suspension is indefinite. Susan Lopez will serve as State Attorney in Warren’s place.

Several Democrats in Florida released statements in response to the suspension on Thursday.

Florida Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book wrote in part, “with his removal of a duly elected Democratic State Attorney who refused to enforce Florida’s extreme abortion ban, Ron DeSantis is behaving more like a dictator than ‘America’s Governor.’ Ron DeSantis continues to make it shamefully clear that he will always put partisan politics over the democratic will of the people.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist also released a statement, saying in part “the people of Hillsborough elected Andrew Warren not once, but twice, because of his commitment to safety and justice for all people. This action by Governor DeSantis is that of a wannabe dictator who puts partisan politics first.”

And in a statement Florida Ag Commissioner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried said in part “this is a politically motivated attack on a universally respected State Attorney democratically elected to exercise prosecutorial discretion.”

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