Scott Israel is running for Broward County Sheriff in 2012. But many people aren't sure if he's the right man for the job.
Scott Israel first ran for Broward County Sheriff in 2008 but lost to incumbent Sheriff Al Lamberti. During the first campaign, news surfaced that Internal Affairs had investigated Scott Israel on ten different occasions. The ten incidents happened in the 1980s over a four year time period. And many people believe that the investigations cost Israel the race. Now that he's running again, the IA investigations are destined to resurface.
The Internal Affairs investigations of Scott Israel were controversial in several ways. In nearly every case Scott Israel was accused of excessive force, including one incident where he shot at a suspect. Every case also involved minority defendants, suggesting that Scott Israel racially profiled and treated minorities differently than whites. But the most concerning aspect about these investigations has nothing to do with what we know. Rather, it concerns what we do not.
Half of the files for the Internal Affairs investigations have gone missing. And the files that are missing include details about two of the most alarming charges: False Arrest and Theft.
By law, these files must remain in the city's archives for fifty years. And many think that Israel is responsible for their convenient absence. Scott Israel originally started his career as a Private Detective in the Florida area. It is alleged that this dubious profession taught Israel a thing or two about sabotage. And many people believe that Scott Israel is fully capable of tampering with evidence.
Scott Israel doesn't say much about the missing files. Every time a journalist brings the issue forward, Israel appears frustrated. Occasionally he'll ignore the question altogether. And other times he'll laugh it off with a bad joke: "I've never stolen anything in my life - well, I shouldn't say that - since I was 7 years old and Dad explained to me in the woodshed."
Hilarious. Unfortunately Broward County isn't looking for a comedian. We're looking for a sheriff. Preferably a sheriff with a clean record.
You'd think that someone with Scott Israel's background in private investigation would have no problem finding a couple missing files. And considering the fact that this issue cost Israel the last election, he should seek to find them. The fact that he is not trying to locate these files suggests that they don't paint a very pretty portrait. And until Scott Israel makes this information public, he should not receive a single vote.