Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspends prosecutor Andrew Warren

Governor Ron DeSantis State’s Attorney Andrew Warren, chief prosecutor for the 13th Judicial Circuit covering Hillsborough County, was suspended on Thursday after calling him “woke” and accusing him of refusing to properly enforce certain laws.

The governor cited positions Warren has taken on abortion laws, transgender medical treatment and other issues.

Warren is a Democrat who has been at the forefront of criminal justice reform issues. He is a member of the Florida Democratic Party’s Security and Justice Task Force.

Republicans have pushed back on these reforms, arguing that they lead to increased crime.

Much of the national attention has been focused on liberal cities such as San Francisco, where the district attorney was recently recalled. Now Tampa is squarely at the center of this debate.

“Over the past few years, individual prosecutors have taken it upon themselves to figure out which laws they like and will enforce, and which laws they don’t like and won’t enforce and the results of that in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. have been abysmal,” DeSantis said.

While DeSantis called the issue a matter of respect for the rule of law, the suspension has partisan overtones, with a GOP governor impeaching a Democratic official who was elected twice by voters in his county.

Andrew Warren was elected State's Attorney for Florida's 13th Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County, in November 2016 and re-elected in November 2020. Warren leads an office of approximately 130 prosecutors.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination to challenge DeSantis, called the governor’s action against Warren “a politically motivated attack on a democratically elected, universally respected state attorney.” to exercise prosecutorial discretion”.

“DeSantis is a pathetic bully,” she said in a statement. “He’s doing this because he wants to be a dictator, not governor of Florida.”

U.S. Representative Charlie Crist, who is running against Fried in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, said, “This action by Governor DeSantis is that of a budding dictator putting partisan politics first.”

Governor Ron Desantis addresses a group of Escambia County law enforcement officers in this June 17, 2022 file photo. DeSantis was in Tampa on Thursday for a

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Warren was first elected to office in November 2016 and then re-elected in November 2020 with 53% of the vote, but DeSantis said, “I don’t think the people of Hillsborough County want to have a program that’s fundamentally woke. “

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