Former Hillsborough County state attorney Andrew Warren is still suspended for speaking out against Gov. Ron DeSantis in August 2022.
He spoke at the Longboat Key Democratic Club’s June 6 meeting.
The meeting took place via Zoom, drawing a virtual crowd of almost 90. In Warren’s 30-minute talk, he dissected recent legislation from DeSantis and talked about why he feels the issues are pressing at a larger context.
“This litigation with the governor has always been about more than me,” Warren said.
Warren was suspended in August 2022 after signing a public statement in June 2022 against the prosecution of abortion. According to Warren, he was working a trial when he was officially suspended by way of armed security guards escorting him out of his office.
“The governor will tell you I was suspended because I refused to enforce the law,” Warren said. “The problem is, it’s simply not true.”
Warren’s talk began with an explanation of his suspension. He said after months of litigation and a three-day trial, a judge in Tallahassee ruled that the allegations against Warren were not true and that Warren did exactly what he was elected to do. Most importantly, according to Warren, was that the judge said DeSantis broke state and federal laws on suspending him.
The case between Warren and DeSantis is still pending with no way to tell if Warren will be reinstated.
“I want to get back to the job I was elected to do,” Warren said.
A big portion of Warren’s talk was his analysis of the legislation passed by DeSantis that Warren claims infringes on the first amendment. He listed the Combating Public Disorder Act, Parental Rights in Education Bill and the Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act as a few examples. Warren also provided examples that he said demonstrate how DeSantis has "defied" democracy, citing a variety of laws that he claims made it more difficult for Floridians to vote.
Lastly, Warren criticized what he called DeSantis' “immigration stunts,” referencing the governor’s decision to fly migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard. He claimed that DeSantis could potentially face criminal liability.
A 15-minute question and answer session followed Warren’s main talk. Audience members typed questions in the virtual chat, which were asked by Lucie Lapovsky, chair of the club.
The Democratic Club’s next meeting will be another free Zoom event on July 11 at noon. It will feature Emily Brown, an immigration attorney who will speak about current issues related to U.S. immigration law. More information about the event can be found at lbkdems.com/events.