An elected local prosecutor who was suspended by Ron DeSantis called the governor a “weak dictator” in her response on Wednesday.
“If we are mourning anything this morning, it is the loss of democracy. I am your duly elected state attorney for the 9th Judicial Circuit, and nothing done by a weak dictator can change that,” said Orlando-area State Attorney Monique Worrell, a Democrat who is the only Black woman serving as a local prosecutor in Florida.
“This is simply a smokescreen for Ron DeSantis’ failing and disastrous presidential campaign,” she added.
DeSantis announced Wednesday that he will be suspending Worrell over “neglect of duty and incompetence”
“Prosecutors have a duty to faithfully enforce the law,” DeSantis said. “One’s political agenda cannot trump this solemn duty. Refusing to faithfully enforce the laws of Florida puts our communities in danger and victimizes innocent Floridians.”
But Worrell, who ran for office vowing to end cash bail and increase police accountability, pushed back in her statement saying she did what she was elected to do.
“Three years ago I was elected by the people of the 9th Judicial Circuit to lead this circuit, and yes, to do things unconventionally, to do things differently,” she said. “I did exactly what I said I was going to do and that is what you want from an elected official.”
This is the second time DeSantis has used his authority to suspend elected Democratic state attorneys in Florida.
Last August DeSantis suspended Tampa-area prosecutor Andrew Warren after he signaling he would not bring charges under Florida’s then-15-week abortion ban.