Court Battles

Former Florida elections official Snipes sues to be returned to job

Former Broward County election chief Brenda Snipes is suing outgoing Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) over his decision last month to suspend her, arguing that it was “malicious and politically motivated.”

Snipes, who filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, is seeking to be reinstated to her position. 

“The suspension by Governor Scott, operating in concert with the public airing of the allegations against Snipes, deprived her of liberty and property rights without constitutionally adequate procedures,” her lawsuit reads.

In addition to Scott, the lawsuit also lists Florida Senate President Bill Galvano as a defendant. 

Scott suspended Snipes in November amid criticism of Broward County’s vote tallying in November’s midterm elections, with Republicans accusing her of illegal activity during the recounts for Senate and gubernatorial races in Florida.

The suspension came after Snipes had already submitted her resignation. She later rescinded that.

Snipes argues in the lawsuit that her due process rights were violated and says that attacks from Scott and President Trump damaged her reputation and resulted in her receiving death threats.

“Governor Scott, and others working on his behalf, tried in every way to damage Snipes’ reputation and inject doubt into the minds of Broward voters that the Broward County elections process was being conducted properly. Tweets from the President of the United States and untrue allegations made by Governor Scott resulted in death threats against Snipes and her family members,” the lawsuit reads.

When he suspended Snipes in November, Scott pointed to “widespread issues with voting” and “misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty.”

At the time, a number of Republicans — including Trump and prominent Florida officials such as Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush — were alleging voter fraud in Broward County.

“After a series of inexcusable actions, it’s clear that there needs to be an immediate change in Broward County and taxpayers should no longer be burdened by paying a salary for a Supervisor of Elections who has already announced resignation,” Scott said in a statement at the time.

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