Florida Governor Rick Scott announced on Friday the “immediate” suspension of Brenda Snipes, Broward County’s embattled election supervisor, after a series of voting-related scandals which peaked during the 2018 midterms, according to Politico. Scott was eventually forced to sue her to obtain public information.
“Every eligible voter in Florida deserves their vote to be counted and should have confidence in Florida’s elections process,” Scott told Politico in a written statement. “After a series of inexcusable actions, it’s clear that there needs to be an immediate change in Broward County and taxpayers should no longer be burdened by paying a salary for a Supervisor of Elections who has already announced resignation.”
Snipes, an elected official whose term ends after the 2020 elections, will be replaced by Scott’s longtime fixer, attorney Pete Antonacci, Scott’s former general counsel who does not plan to run for the Broward elections position and who has been appointed by Scott to fill three other posts, including his current job as president and CEO of Enterprise Florida. –Politico
Snipes had originally announced her early retirement effective January 4th, however Scott felt that she needed top be punished for years of mismanagement.
“It was a long time coming,” according to a person close to Scott’s decision. “Snipes had it coming to her.”
Rumors of Snipes’ early retirement began circulating in mid-November after Politico reported on her likely suspension for incompetence. Democrats, meanwhile, said they could not support Snipes anymore either – with some blaming her flawed ballots for costing Scott’s Democratic opponent, Sen. Bill Nelson, the election.
Over the years, her office has been a hotbed for elections controversies, from appearing to accept unlawful votes, destroying ballots, busting deadlines and even violating the Sunshine Law concerning open records. The latter controversy brought Snipes into direct conflict with Scott.
After Election Day, Snipes’ office failed to regularly update the state’s system with ballot totals as required by law. Instead, Broward began uploading tens of thousands of votes — sometimes in the middle of the night — leading Scott to hold an extraordinary press conference Nov. 8 and charge, without evidence, that “rampant fraud” could be taking place in the Democratic-heavy counties of Broward and Palm Beach. –Politico
“The Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes has a history of acting in bad faith,” said Scott at the November 8 press conference.
For anyone feeling sorry over Snipes’ “immediate” sacking – don’t; she’ll leave office with $130,000 in yearly retirement funds.
Pete Antonacci, Snipes’ replacement, is expected to “clean house,” according to Politico‘s source, after he was appointed by Scott to fill vacancies at the Palm Beach County state attorney’s office, Scott’s general counsel’s office, the South Florida Water Management District’s executive position and Enterprise Florida, according to Politico.
“I know that Pete will be solely focused on running free and fair elections, and will not be running for election and will bring order and integrity back to this office,” said Scott in a statement.