Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has suspended the state’s only female state attorney, Monique Worrell. The announcement was made during a press conference in Tallahassee.
The conference was sudden although his team was given a heads-up on August 8. The media was not alerted until about 30 minutes before it began.
Worrell is the second elected state prosecutor that the 2024 presidential candidate has suspended. In August 2022, DeSantis suspended prosecutor Andrew Warren after he vowed to not bring charges under Florida’s new 15-week abortion ban.
Monique Worrell’s Suspension
During the press conference, DeSantis announced Worrell’s suspension, citing what he claimed was a “neglect of duty.”
The Florida governor criticized her alleged leniency on criminals. He used a gang-related incident in 2022 as an example where Worrell did not charge a teenager accused of shooting and killing a 9-year-old girl and two others.
During the conference, DeSantis was joined by two local sheriffs. According to CNN, neither of them served a county that overlaps with Worrell’s jurisdiction. One of the sheriffs mocked Worrell during the announcement of her suspension. He held up a photoshopped sign showing her in a burning cartoon room with a “this is fine” thought bubble above her head.
Worrell held her own press conference where she spoke out against the suspension.
“This is an outrage. Three years ago, I was elected by the people of the ninth judicial circuit to lead this circuit,” Worrell said.“I am a duly elected state attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit. And nothing done by a weak dictator can change that.”
She declared that she intends to fight the suspension. Worrell believes that she has done her duty as she promised she would.
“And yes, to do things unconventionally, to do things differently, but I didn’t hide, I didn’t say I would do things and didn’t do them, I didn’t say I wouldn’t do things and not did them,” she said during the conference. “I did exactly what I said I would do, and that is what you want from an elected official.”
Worrell will be replaced by Judge Andrew Bain, who is reportedly a member of the conservative Federalist Society and was not elected by voters to the position.