Sheriff’s decertification process based on alleged driver’s license falsehoods, not ‘90s shooting

After a state panel found probable cause in the process to revoke Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony’s law enforcement certification, an administrative document obtained by Local 10 News revealed the process stems from allegations that the Sheriff made false statements on multiple driver’s license applications.

In finding probable cause, a three-member panel determined that the decertification process against Tony could continue, meaning the Sheriff’s ability to make arrests or otherwise act in a law enforcement capacity in Florida remains in jeopardy.

Those allegations were the basis of a hearing Tuesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission, or CJSTC, held on the Valencia College campus in Orlando.

While Tony has previously faced controversy over accusations that he omitted the fact that he was acquitted of a murder in Philadelphia in 1993 when he was 14 years old, those accusations were not the basis for the current complaint, as Local 10 News initially reported.

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony is waiting for a state panel to make a decision about his law enforcement certification.

According to the probable cause determination, obtained by Local 10 News Tuesday afternoon, the FDLE began investigating Tony in 2020, after receiving a complaint that Tony made false statements on multiple documents.

The FDLE document said when Tony applied for a Florida driver’s license in 1999, he answered “yes” to a question asking, under penalty of perjury, if his driving privileges had ever been revoked, suspended, or denied in another state.

According to the FDLE, Tony’s license was suspended in Pennsylvania twice: on August 3, 1993, for failure to appear for trial or a court appearance and on January 23, 1998, for five separate cases of failure to appear for trial or court appearance.

FDLE investigators allege that on eight of 11 subsequent applications for replacement licenses, Tony answered “no” to the aforementioned question. The agency said that that amounted to making a “false affidavit perjury when he affirmed that the statements he made on the application were the truth.”

The FDLE said Tony declined to be interviewed for the investigation.

While no criminal charges were filed, Tony faces eight administrative charges of “Unlawful Acts in Relation to Driver License.”

Regardless of the outcome, Tony does not need to be a certified law enforcement officer to remain Sheriff. In Florida, sheriffs are elected public officials who do not require a law enforcement certification.

Read the administrative document below:

Tony, who was not present at Tuesday’s hearing, remains a certified law enforcement officer. The full 19-member panel is scheduled to meet in August in Ponte Vedra Beach to render a final decision.

“We’ll issue an administrative complaint along with an election of rights form. He will need to return that to us to elect how he wishes to proceed in this case,” FDLE Bureau Chief of Standards Glen Hopkins said. “He can either opt for an informal hearing, which would go before the 19-member commission, just to offer any mitigating statement to the commission or, if he has issues involving disputed facts with the case he could opt to go in front of an administrative law judge in the form of a formal hearing.”

Local 10 News reached out to the Broward Sheriff’s Office; the agency said Tony did not have a response as of Tuesday evening.

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