Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced Thursday the suspension of Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren of the 13th Judicial Circuit due to neglect of duty.
“Today we are suspending state attorney Andrew Warren effective immediately,” DeSantis declared.
Warren pledged not to enforce a number of state laws including a 15-week abortion ban and prohibitions on sex changes for minors.
“This 15-week ban is an unconstitutional law. The Legislature is hoping courts ignore the Florida constitution. But I’m upholding the law and protecting the fundamental rights of all Floridians,” Warren said in a statement provided to the Tampa Bay Times.
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The DeSantis administration argued that the governor has the authority to suspend a state officer under Article IV, Section 7 of the Florida Constitution, according to a press release.
“State Attorneys have a duty to prosecute crimes as defined in Florida law, not to pick and choose which laws to enforce based on his personal agenda,” DeSantis said. “It is my duty to hold Florida’s elected officials to the highest standards for the people of Florida. I have the utmost trust that Judge Susan Lopez will lead the office through this transition and faithfully uphold the rule of law.”
Susan Lopez has been appointed as interim State Attorney during the period of the suspension.
“I have the utmost respect for our state laws and I understand the important role that the State Attorney plays in ensuring the safety of our community and the enforcement of our laws,” Susan Lopez, State Attorney of the 13th Judicial Circuit, said. “I want to thank the Governor for placing his trust in me, and I promise that I will faithfully execute the duties of this office.”
Lopez previously served as Assistant State Attorney of the 13th Judicial Circuit for more than 15 years and as Staff Attorney of the Second District Court of Appeal.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and her law degree from Suffolk University. She is a long-time resident of Tampa and has been involved in the Hillsborough community through a variety of organizations for many years.