TAMPA, Fla. — Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis suspended State Attorney Andrew Warren of the 13th Judicial Circuit due to "neglect of office," according to a statement from the Governor's office.
DeSantis' office released the full executive order outlining the decision to suspend Warren, which included Warren signing a joint statement in support of gender-transition treatments for children and bathroom usage based on gender identity and his "public declaration that he would not enforce criminal laws enacted by the Florida Legislature that prohibit providers from performing certain abortions to protect the lives of unborn children."
The full executive order can be found below:
“State Attorneys have a duty to prosecute crimes as defined in Florida law, not to pick and choose which laws to enforce based on his personal agenda,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “It is my duty to hold Florida’s elected officials to the highest standards for the people of Florida. I have the utmost trust that Judge Susan Lopez will lead the office through this transition and faithfully uphold the rule of law.”
Andrew Warren released the following statement in response to his suspension:
Today’s political stunt is an illegal overreach that continues a dangerous pattern by Ron DeSantis of using his office to further his own political ambition. It spits in the face of the voters of Hillsborough County who have twice elected me to serve them, not Ron DeSantis.
In our community, crime is low, our Constitutional rights—including the right to privacy—are being upheld, and the people have the right to elect their own leaders—not have them dictated by an aspiring presidential candidate who has shown time and again he feels accountable to no one.
The governor has appointed Susan Lopez, County Court Judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit in and for Hillsborough County, to serve as State Attorney during Warren's suspension.
“I have the utmost respect for our state laws and I understand the important role that the State Attorney plays in ensuring the safety of our community and the enforcement of our laws,” said Susan Lopez, State Attorney of the 13th Judicial Circuit. “I want to thank the Governor for placing his trust in me, and I promise that I will faithfully execute the duties of this office.”
Nikki Fried released the following statement regarding the suspension:
"This is a politically motivated attack on a universally respected State Attorney democratically elected to exercise prosecutorial discretion. Ron DeSantis is a pathetic bully. He’s doing this because he wants to be dictator, not a governor of Florida. That’s not how this works, though. This will backfire. We just saw it in Kansas. Florida is a pro-choice, pro-democracy state. If this stands, the people of Florida will put an end to it in November."
Charlie Crist also released a statement:
"The people of Hillsborough elected Andrew Warren not once, but twice, because of his commitment to safety and justice for all people. This action by Governor DeSantis is that of a wannabe dictator who puts partisan politics first. He doesn't give a damn about women or average Floridians. It’s a flagrant abuse of power.
“If Governor DeSantis was truly worried about the people of Florida, he would focus on the affordability crisis that’s crushing our state and squeezing working families.”