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DeSantis suspends Florida state attorney for 'neglecting her duty' to prosecute crime

Worrell's circuit dropped the highest percentage of juvenile felony charges than all other circuits in the state.

Published: August 9, 2023 9:01am

Updated: August 9, 2023 9:02am

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday announced that he is suspending State Attorney Monique Worrell for "neglecting her duty" to prosecute crimes in her jurisdiction, which includes Orlando, as the Republican governor continues his crackdown on prosecutors.

"The people of Central Florida deserve to have a State Attorney who will seek justice in accordance with the law instead of allowing violent criminals to roam the streets and find new victims," DeSantis said when announcing his executive order to remove Worrell from Florida's 9th Judicial Circuit, which covers Orange and Osceola counties.

DeSantis appointed Andrew Bain, who has most recently served as an Orange County judge, to replace Worrell.

"Ms. Worrell abdicated her responsibility as the circuit’s top prosecutor and her actions undermine the safety and security of our state and Floridians," Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, a Republican, said.

Citing data from the Florida Department of Corrections in his executive order, DeSantis said that "from January 1, 2022, to. March 31, 2023, the 9th Circuit, on a per capita basis, had among the lowest prison admission rates relative to the other circuits for crimes involving lewd and lascivious behavior, which includes Possession of Child Pornography and other sex crimes against children."

Worrell's circuit also dropped the highest percentage of juvenile felony charges than all other circuits in the state, per the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

DeSantis has removed prosecutors in his state before. Last year, the governor suspended Tampa State Attorney Andrew Warren for saying he would not enforce Florida state laws regarding abortion and transgender surgeries for minors.

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on Twitter or Instagram.

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