Tony fights Criminal Justice Standards decision to revoke police license
By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony is opposing a recommendation to strip him of his state license to be a police officer on multiple counts of lying under oath, according to documents obtained by Florida bulldog.
The case now goes before an administrative law judge in Tallahassee for a “formal hearing” where Tony will challenge “factual allegations” contained in a complaint filed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The case has not yet been filed with the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH).
In June, a three-person panel of the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission found ‘probable cause’ to believe the allegations against the sheriff were true and that Tony’s police license should be revoked .
While the removal is an embarrassing move that would mean Tony could no longer be a cop, he would remain Broward’s elected sheriff. Tony, who was certified in 2005, was a police officer in Coral Springs where he rose to the rank of sergeant.
Tony invoked his right to an administrative hearing on an “Election of Rights” form that is stamped as received by the Criminal Justice Standards Commission in early July. It is signed by Tony and his attorney, Stephen G. Webster of Tallahassee. Webster also represents the Florida Police Benevolent Association.
Webster did not respond to a Florida bulldog request for comment sent by email.
DESANTIS SAID ZIP
Tony refused to be questioned by FDLE agents as they carried out an extensive investigation into him which began six days later. Florida bulldog exclusively reported on May 2, 2020 that when he was 14 in Philadelphia in 1993, Tony shot and killed a young man. Tony was charged with murder, but was acquitted in juvenile court. All court records of the case are sealed and Tony’s version of what happened, that he killed in self-defense, has been disputed by the deceased’s family.
Tony never revealed this murder to Governor Ron DeSantis until DeSantis appointed him sheriff in January 2019 to replace Scott Israel, who rose to notoriety in the fallout from the Parkland School murders.
To date, DeSantis has not publicly addressed the substance of the FDLE’s findings or the panel’s “probable cause” determination against Tony, which were made public in January.
Tony’s failure to disclose about his arrest for murder, his affidavits that his case file was not sealed, and certain other instances of alleged lies were dropped as “lacking sufficient evidence” or “prescribed by the limitation period”.
Prosecutors’ review of Fort Myers, where the case was transferred after Broward State’s Attorney Harold Pryor asked DeSantis to fire him, found a single ‘potentially viable’ criminal charge against Tony – a charge that the FDLE has recommended should lead to a felony charge for “false affidavit”. perjury.”
EIGHT COUNTS OF “ILLEGAL ACTS”
It involved Tony’s misrepresentation on an application for a replacement driver’s license in February 2019 when he answered ‘no’ when asked if his driving privileges had all been suspended in another state. Pennsylvania had suspended Tony’s driving privileges several times in the 1990s. Nevertheless, prosecutors refused to charge Tony with a crime.
But that allegation is now one of eight counts of “unlawful acts in connection with a driver’s license” brought against the sheriff. Here’s how the commission’s probable cause determination summed it up:
“Between March 15, 2002 and February 1, 2019, Tony submitted 11 Florida driver license applications and received a replacement license each time. On eight of the requests, he answered “no” to the question asking whether his driving privilege had ever been revoked, suspended or denied in another state. Investigators obtained and reviewed Tony’s driving record in Pennsylvania. Tony’s license was suspended on August 3, 1993 for failure to appear at trial or court appearance and on January 23, 1998 for five separate instances of failure to appear at trial or court appearance.
The case is now up to an administrative judge to weigh and decide. The judge’s decision, however long it takes, will then be sent to the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission for review. The commission can accept or reject the judge’s conclusion before rendering its final decision.