FL Senate reacts to death threat in suspended Broward sheriff case

By: - October 17, 2019 5:30 pm

Then-Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, who was assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the February 14, 2018 shooting, is seen in this still image captured from the school surveillance video released by Broward County Sheriff’s Office on March 15, 2018.

The special master who recommended reinstatement of suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has received a death threat, prompting security concerns about next week’s Florida Senate special session reviewing the recommendation.

Special Master Dudley Goodlette concluded from his investigation that Gov. Ron DeSantis failed to prove that Israel was incompetent or negligent in regard to his officers’ responses to mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 and at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in 2017.

Seventeen students and staff were killed at the high school in Parkland, and five were killed in the airport shooting.

“The threat was received not long after Mr. Goodlette’s report became publicly available,” said Katherine Betta, spokewoman for Senate President Bill Galvano. Goodlette’s report recommending Israel’s reinstatement is dated Sept. 24, 2019. Galvano appointed Goodlette as special master.

“President Galvano was made aware of the threat, which he considered to be very serious. President Galvano directed the Senate Sergeant at Arms to alert FDLE, so the threat could be investigated,” Betta confirmed by email.

FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said the Collier County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the threat and that FDLE is assisting. She said Collier is where the threat was initially reported. Goodlette is a former Republican House member from Naples in Collier County.

Media reports of the death threat first appeared in Florida Politics and then the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

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Laura Cassels
Laura Cassels

Laura Cassels is a reporter, former statehouse bureau chief, and former city editor. She is a classical pianist, a Florida State University graduate and proud alum of the Florida Flambeau, an independent college newspaper. Contact her at [email protected]