An internal Broward County Sheriff’s Office email directed employees on Monday to support Sheriff Scott Israel, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham revealed in an exclusive report Monday evening. Ingraham obtained copies of the email from a source close to the sheriff’s office. She further reported that the document has been “confirmed” by a second source.
— Debra Heine (@NiceDeb) February 27, 2018
The letter urges all staff members to support the embattled sheriff as the agency finds itself “up against a flurry of media allegations and a personal attack against our sheriff.”
“SI [Sheriff Israel] stood with us, and now we must stand with him,” the email reads. “It’s important that they know we stand as one.”
“The focus should be on getting to the bottom of what happened leading up to the shooting,” Ingraham argued. “Not some CYA deal for the sheriff . We need to know about the actions of law enforcement on the day of the shooting — [it] shouldn’t be about saving Sheriff Israel’s job because that would be really pathetic.”
Ingraham reported later in the show that sources are also telling her that Broward County deputies were told not to enter the school unless they had their body cameras turned on. But unfortunately, they didn’t have body cameras.
Earlier in the segment, Ingraham pointed out that Israel’s office has a history of politically expedient public relations.
In 2015, Israel wrapped decals of his face on five taxpayer-financed sheriff’s office cars, Ingraham reported.
She said they were dubbed “Israelmobiles,” and were often driven by members of a “community outreach team” allegedly staffed by his campaign supporters.
Ingraham called for President Donald Trump to order Attorney General Jeff Sessions to open his own probe to look into the department’s and FBI’s actions in relation to to the shooting.
Sheriff Israel was accused of misusing his office for political purposes in 2016, too.
When he was unable to make it to a political forum for local candidates at a condominium for senior citizens in June of that year, he was well-represented by his underlings.
Working the door and passing out Broward Sheriff’s Office pamphlets, some of which featured prominent photos of the sheriff, was Patti Lynn, a BSO employee in full uniform. There was also Capt. Ira Goldberg, a longtime Israel campaign volunteer, who was also dressed in BSO garb and on the clock. There was also Tamarac Chief Neal Glassman, as well as a lieutenant.
Using BSO manpower at a political event prompted Israel’s opponents to accuse him of “misusing his office to aid his political campaign.”
“It’s improper, because they are taking resources from the citizens,” said Willie Jones, a former BSO sergeant who ran as a Democrat against Israel in the primary. “Taxpayers give the Sheriff’s Office $750 million to run this agency to provide public safety.”
The Sun Sentinel reported in 2016 that Israel was rewarding top political supporters and their family members with cushy jobs doing public relations and community outreach for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
One such position was outreach manager, with a salary of $78,489. The lucky individual who snared that job was the husband of Israel’s campaign manager.
In 2017, the Sun Sentinel reported that “the Broward Sheriff’s Office failed to seize control and set up an effective command system after the deadly mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport.”
This led to “a cascade of mistakes,” including “the most basic police work,” the agency’s own draft review of the incident revealed.
A growing chorus of Republicans are now calling on the feckless sheriff to step down.