The sheriff whose deputies responded to the Florida high school massacre received an overwhelming vote of no-confidence Thursday from the union that represents about half his sworn personnel, with the union's president calling him "a liar" for saying the poll was a union tactic to extort raises, the AP reports. The Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association members voted 534-94 on a symbolic measure expressing no confidence in Sheriff Scott Israel, who denounced the vote and called it "inconsequential." The union's leadership criticized Israel's handling of the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 14 students and three staff members dead, saying he should he should not have put the full blame on Deputy Scot Peterson, the school's resource officer.
The sheriff's office has been criticized for not arresting or getting a psychiatric commitment for suspect Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student. The office received nearly 20 calls about him in the years leading up to the shooting, mostly from his late mother about his behavior, but the sheriff's office said there was nothing he could be arrested for. President Jeff Bell mocked Israel during a Thursday press conference, repeatedly using the same "amazing leadership" phrase that Israel used in a television interview days after the shooting to describe his handling of the shooting. Bell asked Gov. Rick Scott to "re-evaluate" Israel's position. Scott spokesman John Tupps said the governor is waiting for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to complete its investigation of the Broward Sheriff's Office's handling of the shooting before making any decisions. He will then "hold people accountable."