FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony hadn’t withheld vital information from state law enforcement forms that would have revealed he was involved in a fatal shooting when he was a teenager, his attorney argued to a state ethics commission.
The commission found probable cause to pursue an ethics case against the sheriff anyway, for the second time in recent months.
“Could things have been done differently, could things have been done better? Probably. Most likely. But that’s not what’s before this commission,” Tony’s attorney Louis Jean-Baptiste argued, saying the sheriff hadn’t used his office for personal benefit.
More details emerged Wednesday about Friday’s closed-door session of the Florida Commission on Ethics, showing the lawyer’s arguments to try to absolve Tony of accusations of untruths. The end result could potentially be a recommendation by the panel that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspend him.
All eight commission members in attendance voted to find probable cause to pursue a case against Tony’s untruths; the ninth member was absent from the hearing.
The probable cause was that Tony misused his public position:
—When he provided false information or did not disclose information during the appointment process for his service as Broward County Sheriff by the governor.
—When he completed a notarized form to the state while already serving as Broward’s sheriff.
—When he applied to renew his driver’s license while serving in public office to benefit himself.
The cases stem from Tony: