After Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Monique Worrell’s suspension as the State Attorney representing the Orlando area, she held a press conference outside of the courthouse, lambasting his decision.
Worrell called it “a political hit job” and said that her suspension has not dissuaded her from running for re-election.
During the press conference, Worrell, the prosecutor for Orange and Osceola counties in Florida, said, “[e]lected officials can be removed simply for political purposes and by a whim of the governor, and no matter how you feel about me, you should not be OK with that.”
Elected to office three years ago, Worrell believes she has lived up to her campaign promises, stating “When I ran, I promised law enforcement accountability, and since I have become state attorney, we prosecuted Jonathan Mills, a serial terrorist on the Parramore community, and he went to jail under my administration, and the Florida (Fraternal) Order of Police was pissed about it. They came to court to support him. There is another officer whose case will undoubtedly be dropped now…because he shot an unarmed man. I promised police accountability and on that I delivered and that is the reason that law enforcement galvanized behind the governor’s un-democratic attack and removal of me from office.”
Worrell emphatically added, “Listen, I’m not speaking out against law enforcement as a whole, but I am telling you that as in any profession, there are bad actors. The difference with law enforcement is that they have covered it up systemically, they have covered it up, and I have uncovered just the tip of the iceberg and we have taken action against that.”
Worrell is not alone in her outspoken objections and criticism of the governor’s decision to suspend her from her role.
Following DeSantis’ announcement, Congressman Maxwell Frost tweeted, “We are rallying in Orlando tomorrow night to protect Democracy. The removal of Monique Worrell is unconstitutional. More details soon…”
Florida Senator Shevrin Jones also entered the fray, releasing a statement, “This latest attack on our democracy is classic Ron DeSantis as he struggles to resuscitate his floundering presidential campaign on the right-wing cable circuit. DeSantis’ weaponization of government is not only an inappropriate use of taxpayer resources, but also insultingly hypocritical.”
DeSantis appointed Judge Andrew Bain in Worrell’s stead to replace her in the position “as state attorney for the ninth judicial circuit court.” According to DeSantis, Bain is currently serving in Orlando as a judge.
In a statement, DeSantis said, “It is my duty as Governor to ensure that the laws enacted by our duly elected Legislature are followed,” continuing, “The people of Central Florida deserve to have a State Attorney who will seek justice in accordance with the law instead of allowing violent criminals to roam the streets and find new victims.”