Judge denies motion to reinstate state attorney suspended by DeSantis

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 2:05 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Ousted Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren isn’t returning to his post — at least not yet.

A federal judge said Monday he would deny Warren’s preliminary injunction in a forthcoming written order.

It would have temporarily restored the Hillsborough County prosecutor to office.

That’s after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Warren’s suspension last month, alleging neglect of duty.

Northern District Judge Robert Hinkle didn't rule on the merits of the case — but said the record on what led to Warren's ouster was incomplete, lacking evidence from DeSantis' office.

The judge also worried granting the injunction could be disruptive — potentially fluctuating Warren back in and out of office during appeals.

Instead, Hinkle wanted a trial as soon as possible for a more definitive answer.

Warren took the ruling in stride.

"The judge was very clear. He wants to get this right once and for all," Warren said. "We look forward to a trial where the governor can come in and explain his decision and explain to the court why he thinks what he did was in compliance with federal law and state law."

DeSantis suspended Warren on Aug. 4 after he signed pledges to not prosecute violations of Florida's new 15-week abortion ban or criminalize gender-affirming care.

Warren has claimed he was expressing his right to free speech.

Attorneys will now determine a timeline for a full trial, which could happen in the next three months.

In a statement, the governor's communications director, Taryn Fenske, said the following about Monday's ruling:

"We are pleased that the court denied Andrew Warren's request for a preliminary injunction. The Governor is entrusted by the people of Florida to utilize his constitutional powers and may suspend elected officials in Florida who refuse to enforce the law."

Scripps Only Content 2022