Broward Sheriff's Office Withheld $12 Million In Pay From Deputies

The deputies' union announced their $12 million victory in which the Broward Sheriff's Office was ordered to pay up.

Plantation, FL The Broward Sheriffs Office has been underpaying its employees to the tune of $12 million.

A recent arbitration ruling affirmed that the department had underpaid wages and failed to make some past pension contributions - payroll errors that were identified by the Broward Sheriffs Office Deputies Association, according to a press release by that organization.

Deputies Association President Jeff Bell called the ruling a huge victory for current as well as retired employees.

The deputies union thanked the Broward Sheriffs Office for being willing to go back as far as 2007 to pay back lost wages to all current employees. They anticipated that all payments would be made by the end of September.

"The union attempted to resolve this matter for a fraction of the cost and agreed to language changes in the contract to favor BSO months ago," Bell said. "The sheriff is trusted as the gatekeeper of public funds and unfortunately, he let personal feelings related to a no-confidence vote get in the way of saving the public at least $10 million."

On April 26, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel received a vote of no confidence from his deputies in a vote of 534 to 94.

At the time, Bell acknowledged the risk of going up against Sheriff Israel, and said the unions members have displayed great courage to come out and vote under threat of retaliation and reprisal from the sheriff, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

He said the union planned to present the results of the no confidence vote to Florida Governor Rick Scott and ask him to please replace the sheriff with somebody who is capable of amazing leadership.

Amazing leadership starts from the top, and there is no amazing leadership here. We are a ship out at sea with no power adrift, Bell told the Sun-Sentinel.

Under Florida law, the governor has the power to suspend Sheriff Israel for "malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty" and "may fill the office by appointment for the period of suspension, CNN reported.

Then it would be the responsibility of the Florida State Senate to decide what to do. The senate has the power to make final decisions about what happens to an official after they have been suspended.

The union cited examples of problems that have existed throughout Sheriff Israels administration, but said the sheriffs handling of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentines Day was the last straw.

When the sheriff touted his leadership skills in an interview with CNN, the union decided it had had enough.

Sheriff Israel has defended his handling of the Parkland school massacre, and said Thursday that the no confidence vote was unfortunate and appalling, and nothing more than a ploy to advance the deputies salary negotiations, CNN reported.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was investigating the incident response, which included a school resource officer who stayed outside the classroom building while a gunman murdered 17 students and faculty, and wounded 16 more.

Seventy-four Florida lawmakers called for Sheriff Israels resignation, and the Florida attorney general questioned the integrity of the Broward County Sheriffs Office.

I dont think some people were honest, and were going to investigate this situation in Florida and the right thing will be done, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi told FOX News.

Sheriff Israel responded to initial criticism of his agencys handling of the shooting rampage by touting his own leadership skills, and blaming Broward County Deputy Scot Petersen.

The sheriff accepted no responsibility for the numerous warning signs about future-shooter Nikolas Cruz, and he disavowed responsibility for taking action regarding Cruz in advance in an interview with CNN.

Jake, I can only take responsibility for what I knew about, Sheriff Israel said. I exercised my due diligence. I provided amazing leadership to this agency.

Comments (13)
No. 1-12
RIDGERUNNER
RIDGERUNNER

I'm wondering just why no full investigation of Sheriff Israel is ongoing. He seems to be like a bad penny.

angeleyes
angeleyes

he should be fired and charged(if possible). Don't need anymore higher ups against their own men then we already have, inside and outside of police departments.

cspcapt
cspcapt

did he steal the money? he has to go

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

Unfortunately this article stops short of saying where the money went. This sheriff reminds me of a poorly-produced law enforcement TV show with amateur actors.

Cstuartsr
Cstuartsr

Just a typical democrat that does whatever they want and nothing is ever done. Even though it cost people their lives it is swept under the rug. Its sad day when a political group can steal, be responsible for lost of life and nothing he done about it. If it was anybody else they would have already been taken off the job, but you have to remember he is tied to The Clintons and we know how that works out.