Republican Presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is campaigning on recently firing two "radical left-wing district attorneys." One of whom, Monique Worrell, was about to file charges in a long-running corruption investigation into the Osceola County Sheriff's office. DeSantis claims Worrell refused to do her job, but Worrell may have been doing it too well.
What American viewers weren't told is that, behind the scenes, the governor's office had quietly conspired with local sheriffs to tarnish the reputations of these democratically elected prosecutors—turning local cops against the state attorneys they're supposed to partner with and trust.
In the latest instance, the governor did one sheriff a huge favor by firing Orlando-area State Attorney Monique Worrell just as she was about to crack down on a wide-ranging cover-up by deputies who, she says, were faking documents to hide lethal and abusive behavior.
"They thought that I was overly critical of law enforcement and didn't do anything against 'real criminals,'" Worrell told The Daily Beast in an interview last week. "Apparently there's a difference between citizens who commit crimes and cops who commit crimes."
The Governor's office was well aware that Worrell was investigating a history of abuse and coverups in the Sheriff's office, and moved to stop her when their pressure campaign failed to impress her.
In February, the governor's office wrote a stern letter directly to Worrell's team, demanding a vast and detailed record of unprosecuted cases—fishing for the very statistics and cases it could wave around to justify her removal. The next month, the state attorney's general counsel assembled a simplified snapshot of dropped cases going back several previous elected prosecutors and warned DeSantis' people that they were barking up the wrong tree.
"The unfounded assertions and conclusions in your letter are certainly disappointing and quite frankly, irresponsible," the state attorney's general counsel, Kamilah L. Perry, replied. "The suggestion that our office's 'policies' promote crime are empty political statements not supported by facts. These misleading claims pose a danger to our community, which is being intentionally misled by this political fear mongering."