Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended the Orlando-area state attorney Wednesday, saying she was “clearly and fundamentally derelict” in her duty, the Washington Post reports. Republican DeSantis removed Monique Worrell, a Democrat, from her job as the chief prosecutor for Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit Court at a news conference in Tallahassee. It’s the second time in a year that the governor, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, suspended an elected Democrat from office. “The state of Florida is a law-and-order state,” DeSantis said. “Refusing to faithfully enforce the laws of Florida puts our communities in danger and victimizes innocent Floridians.”
The action by the governor, who has largely been absent from Florida as he campaigns in early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, came five days after two Orlando police officers were shot and injured during a traffic stop. The suspected shooter was later killed by SWAT officers. The police union accused Worrell of being “soft on crime,” on Monday — a theme DeSantis echoed Wednesday. The suspect, Daton Viel, 28, had a long criminal history and had been arrested in March for sexual assault against a child but was released on bond. DeSantis’s office has had Worrell under scrutiny for more than a year. Worrell, whose district includes Orange and Osceola counties, was elected in 2020 with 66 percent of the vote. She was the second African American elected to the position and the first of Caribbean descent.