Broward County Mayor Dale Holness on Thursday endorsed Gregory Tony for sheriff.
Holness said in a statement that Tony, who has served as sheriff since January 2019, “has held bad actors accountable and put together the most diverse command staff we’ve ever seen. Sheriff Tony has truly proven himself more than deserving of the support of our community.”
Tony will run against his predecessor Scott Israel, along with retired Broward Sheriff’s Col. Al Pollock, among other candidates in the Democratic primary.
Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Tony last year to replace Israel, whom he suspended over questions regarding Israel’s handling of the 2018 Parkland school shooting.
Meanwhile, Tony has faced scrutiny in recent weeks for not disclosing on a 2005 job application with the Coral Springs Police Department that he shot and killed an 18-year-old man in 1993 when he was a teenager.
The 41-year-old sheriff, who was ultimately not found guilty of wrongdoing in the shooting, says it was self-defense.
He also wrote on the Coral Springs application that he had never used hallucinogens, although he admitted to using LSD in 1995 on a previous application for the Tallahassee Police Department. Tony also excluded from the Coral Springs application that he was at one point accused of passing a bad check as a student at Florida State University.
Please see a note from Sheriff Gregory Tony below. pic.twitter.com/0Q1BQR8Gia
— Sheriff Gregory Tony 2020 (@sherifftony2020) May 3, 2020
Although that charge was dismissed, Tony ended up writing an apology letter for leaving it off his job application when it turned up in a subsequent background check.
The Coral Springs Police Department hired Tony 15 years ago, launching his law enforcement career.
Then-Police Chief Duncan Foster recently told the South Florida Sun Suntinel that he would not have hired Tony if the 1993 killing had been disclosed.
Tony served with the Coral Springs Police Department until 2016, when he left there to develop a company that specializes in active shooter training. He has dismissed the matter from the killing as a political smear campaign.
He said in a statement, “I am honored to receive the endorsement of the mayor for the county I represent.”
Last week, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, which previously voted “no confidence” in Tony and Israel, endorsed Pollock.