The disgraced former Orlando state attorney removed from her post by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, called her suspension “the loss of democracy.”
DeSantis suspended Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Monique Worrell on Wednesday citing her “dereliction of duty” on crime.
“The practices and policies of her office have allowed murderers, other violent offenders, and dangerous drug traffickers to receive extremely reduced sentences and escape the full consequences of their criminal conduct. In some cases, these offenders have evaded incarceration altogether,” DeSantis’ office wrote in a statement.
DESANTIS SUSPENDS ORLANDO STATE ATTORNEY OVER ‘DERELICTION OF DUTY’ ON CRIME
GOP Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Monique Worrell on Wednesday citing her “dereliction of duty” on crime. (Tribune News Service/Getty Images)
“State Attorney Worrell’s practices undermine Florida law and endanger the safety, security, and welfare of the communities that Ms. Worrell was elected to serve,” it continued.
Worrell held a press conference following her suspension, claiming her removal from her elected post was “the loss of democracy.”
The disgraced attorney who, according to DeSantis’ office, routinely let murderers and other violent offenders “escape the full consequences of their criminal conduct” also attacked the governor as a “weak dictator.”
“If we are mourning anything this morning, it’s the loss of democracy,” Worrell said. “I am your duly elected state attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit and nothing done by a weak dictator can change that.”
“This is an outrage,” the former state attorney continued. “Three years ago, I was elected by the people of the Ninth Judicial Circuit to lead this circuit.”
“And yes, to do things unconventionally, do to things differently,” she said. “But I didn’t hide, I didn’t say that I would do things and I didn’t do them. I didn’t say I wouldn’t do things and not did them.”
“I did exactly what I said I would do and that is what you want from an elected official,” she added.
DeSantis, who is running for president, highlighted the move in a news conference Wednesday morning alongside several other Florida officials. (AP/Maya Alleruzzo)
Worell also called her suspension “a smoke screen for Ron DeSantis failing and disastrous presidential campaign,” in which the governor is trailing behind former President Donald Trump.
“He needed to get back in the media in some positive way in a way that would be red meat for his base and he will have accomplished that today,” Worrell said. “He will be in the news nationally and internationally for the individual who has single handedly destroyed democracy in the state of Florida.”
DeSantis, who is running for president, highlighted the move in a news conference Wednesday morning alongside several other Florida officials.
The officials, who included Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, stated that Worrell routinely avoided mandatory minimum sentencing for gun crimes and drug trafficking offenses, as well as allowing juvenile offenders to avoid serious charges and incarceration.
She also allegedly limited charges against child pornography offenders and avoided sentencing enhancements such as those based on prior offenses.
The governor went on to tell reporters that he was confident the Florida constitution granted him authority to remove Worrell.
Worell also called her suspension “a smoke screen for Ron DeSantis failing and disastrous presidential campaign,” in which the governor is trailing behind former President Donald Trump. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
This is the second time DeSantis has taken strong action against a Florida prosecutor who he says failed to do their jobs. He also suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren in August 2022 for refusing to enforce the state’s abortion ban.
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That suspension was upheld in court in a January decision from a federal judge.
The governor is tapping Florida judge Andrew Bain to replace Worrell as the state attorney for the 9th Judicial Circuit.
Fox News Digital’s Anders Hagstrom contributed reporting.