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DeSantis suspends Orlando State Attorney Monique Worrell for ‘dereliction of duty’ on crime – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale

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TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (WSVN) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has taken the step of suspending Orlando State Attorney Monique H. Worrell, citing what he terms “dereliction of duty” in handling crime-related matters. The suspension comes amid mounting concerns about the handling of criminal cases involving violent offenders.

The decision to suspend Worrell was announced by Gov. DeSantis on Wednesday morning, who expressed grave concerns about the state of criminal justice administration under her watch. DeSantis emphasized that the approach taken by Worrell’s office has led to serious consequences, allowing violent offenders to “escape the full consequences.”

According to the governor, the suspension was carried out due to what he perceives as a pattern of behavior on Worrell’s part that has compromised public safety. The executive order implemented the suspension outlines specific reasons for the action, including allegations of avoiding minimum mandatory sentences for gun crimes, drug trafficking offenses, and permitting juvenile offenders to evade serious charges and incarceration.

DeSantis also cited the instance of Daton Viel, who critically shot two Orlando police officers while out on bond for a child rape case. Viel had managed to remove his ankle monitor before the incident which raised questions about the effectiveness of Worrell’s handling of such cases.

The governor’s office emphasized that prosecutors are granted discretion in their decision-making regarding cases, but in Worrell’s case, her alleged abuse of discretion has undermined the state’s legal framework.

During a news conference following the shooting of the officers, Worrell rejected any blame for Viel’s presence on the streets and attempted to address the concerns raised.

In response to the suspension, DeSantis named Andrew Bain to take over the responsibilities of the 9th Judicial Circuit. The decision to suspend Monique Worrell echoes a similar move made by DeSantis last year when he suspended Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren.

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