Today, Governor Ron DeSantis suspended State Attorney Andrew Warren of the 13th Judicial Circuit due to neglect of duty.

Andrew Warren Files Suit To Reverse Suspension By Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis suspended State Attorney Andrew Warren of the 13th Judicial Circuit due to neglect of duty.

Andrew Warren, the prosecutor suspended by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has now filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge DeSantis’ suspension, calling it a “blatant abuse of power”.

The suit asks a judge to compel the Governor to rescind his illegal order, restore Warren to office and prohibit DeSantis from taking similar illegal actions against Warren in the future. 

Warren addressed the media this morning alongside his counsel, Jean-Jacques “J” Cabou, co-chair of the White Collar and Investigations practice at the international law firm Perkins Coie, LLP.

“In our country, there are protections for freedoms and limits on power. Ron DeSantis may not like them. He may not respect them. But he does have to follow them,” said Warren, who was elected in 2016 and again in 2020,” said Warren.

“There is so much more at stake here than my job. Ron DeSantis is hoping to get away with overturning a fair election, throwing out the votes of hundreds of thousands of Floridians. By challenging this illegal abuse of power, we’re fighting to make sure no governor can toss out an election because he doesn’t like the winner,” Warren added.

According to the lawsuit, DeSantis violated Warren’s right to free speech under the U.S. Constitution. Warren signed onto joint statements also signed by prosecutors from around the nation. Those statements expressed Warren’s own views and opinions on the criminalization of abortion and gender-affirming care. The statements are not binding policies, and no criminal cases related to those issues have ever come before Warren.

The lawsuit claims that DeSantis took action to remove Warren because of something “Warren said, not what he did”.

The suit also says Warren does not work for DeSantis. He is an independently elected official. Under Florida law, the governor must have a valid reason for suspending him. The Court decides that, not DeSantis. DeSantis’ executive order alleges “incompetence” and “neglect of duty.”

In the lawsuit, Warren’s attorneys explain that those two terms have specific definitions under Florida law and nothing Warren has done fits the definitions in the Florida Constitution. When a government official illegally exceeds their authority in Florida, as Gov. DeSantis did in his order, a claim in “quo warranto” is the way to challenge that overreach.

The Florida Senate on Monday gave suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren 15 days to request a Senate hearing that could determine whether he is reinstated or removed from office.

The Senate sent a letter Monday stemming from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ move Aug. 4 to suspend Warren. DeSantis cited a pledge by the twice-elected state attorney to not enforce a new law preventing abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Warren, a Democrat, has vowed to fight DeSantis’ effort to ultimately remove him from office, with the Senate having authority under state law to hold a hearing and make a decision.

“If you request a hearing, you will receive a notice of hearing before a special master or committee containing the date, time, and location of the hearing,” Debbie Brown, secretary of the Senate, wrote in the certified letter Monday to Warren. “If you do not wish to have a hearing, you may submit your resignation to the governor’s office.”

Brown also wrote that a Senate process would be held in “abeyance” if Warren decides to launch a court challenge.

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