- Recently-suspended Hillsborough County state attorney Andrew Warren vowed to fight and appeal the executive action that temporarily removes him from his position
- Warren published a video on Facebook on Sunday claiming that he is preparing a “vigorous defense” against Gov. Ron DeSantis
- DeSantis stated that he suspended Warren due to a neglect of duty
- Warren has previously been criticized for being “soft on crime” by sheriffs and state leaders
Andrew Warren, the Hillsborough County state attorney suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis, has vowed to fight the executive action and is reportedly preparing a “vigorous defense,” according to a news release on Sunday.
DeSantis last week announced that he is taking executive action to suspend Warren. The governor stated that the suspension is due to a “neglect of duty.”
Notably, DeSantis claimed that Warren pledged not to enforce the state’s recently-passed 15-week abortion law, as well as signing letters saying that he would also not enforce laws prohibiting sex changes for minors.
Warren, however, is claiming that the governor is simply swaying his power to “overthrow democracy in Florida.”
“Ron DeSantis is trying to overturn democracy in Florida,” said Warren. “His plot to suspend me violates the must fundamental basis of our democracy: your vote. I’ve been elected twice as state attorney. I was elected because the people of this county share my vision for criminal justice, trust my judgment, and see our success. I swore to uphold the Constitution, and that’s what I’ve done.”
At the time the executive order was filed, the office of the governor stated that he has the authority under the Florida Constitution to suspend state officials for reasons of misfeasance, malfeasance, or neglect of duty.
State leaders and sheriffs stated Warren repeatedly tried to install himself as an arbiter of what laws will and will not be enforced within his jurisdiction.
“State Attorneys have a duty to prosecute crimes as defined in Florida law, not to pick and choose which laws to enforce based on his personal agenda,” DeSantis said last week. “It is my duty to hold Florida’s elected officials to the highest standards for the people of Florida.”
Warren has received an outpour of support from a variety of Democrat lawmakers and organizations, like the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, who fear that DeSantis exceeded his authority as the state’s governor.
“I’m not going down without a fight,” Warren continued. “I refuse to let this man trample on your freedoms to speak your mind, to make your own health care decisions, and to have your vote count.”
In wake of the measure, DeSantis appointed Hillsborough County Judge Susan Lopez to serve as acting state attorney during Warren’s suspension.
Lopez was appointed by the governor to serve as a Hillsborough County judge in 2021, previously serving as the Assistant State Attorney in the 13th Judicial Circuit.