A state prosecutor is asking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his job back after a federal judge said the governor violated federal and state law by suspending him. Andrew Warren, a Democrat who served as the top prosecutor for Florida’s 13th judicial circuit in Hillsborough County, made the request in a letter the governor Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reports. DeSantis, a Republican, signed an executive order in August suspending Warren for neglect of duty and incompetence for allegedly issuing blanket policies not to prosecute certain kinds of cases. These include his signing statements about protecting abortion rights and access to transgender health care, and his decision to avoid pressing charges for some minor nonviolent offenses. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle found that DeSantis's suspension violated the state Constitution and the First Amendment but said.he said he didn’t have the authority to reinstate Warren. The judge said DeSantis could reverse the suspension himself.
“The facts are now known,” said Warren, who has been suspended without pay. “I engaged in zero misconduct; the allegations in the executive order are false; and the suspension violates federal and state law.” Warren, who was first elected in 2016 and was re-elected in 2020, asked the governor to reinstate him for the remainder of his four-year term. A spokesman for DeSantis said his administration doesn’t agree with Hinkle’s findings, as the issues were with Warren's performance and not advocacy. The spokesman added that DeSantis doesn’t need to address the judge’s findings because he lacked jurisdiction. The spokesman said the Florida Senate, not the federal courts, has the constitutional authority to decide whether Warren can be permanently removed from his position due to neglect of duty and incompetence. The governor said in August that he suspended Warren for allegedly refusing to enforce state laws. Warren called on DeSantis to “honor your oath of office” by reversing his suspension.