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FDLE expands criminal investigation of Sheriff Tony to probe whether he is a convicted felon

sheriff
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony

By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s criminal investigation of Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony for making a false declaration under oath last January has expanded to include a probe into whether the sheriff lied to cover up that he’s a convicted felon, as well as other still-confidential matters.

FDLE’s first public acknowledgement of its investigation of Tony is contained in a sworn affidavit made by FDLE Inspector Keith Riddick in a pending lawsuit brought by four losing candidates for sheriff, Broward Supervisor of Elections Peter Antonacci and Judge Kenneth Gottlieb in his capacity as chair of the county’s canvassing board.

Florida Bulldog reported in May that Tony signed a FDLE affidavit in January declaring under oath that he never had a criminal record sealed or expunged. The story followed the Bulldog’s May 2 report disclosing that Tony shot and killed a man in 1993 when he was a 14-year-old living in a poor, urban Philadelphia neighborhood. Tony has said he killed in self defense, but his account is disputed by the dead man’s girlfriend, who said he was apparently unarmed and that the shooting was prompted by an argument.

Florida Bulldog obtained a Philadelphia police homicide report outlining key events in the case, but all other criminal and juvenile records relating to the killing are sealed.

Until now, FDLE has said nothing about its investigation of Tony. But the two-page affidavit provided to plaintiffs’ attorneys and dated Nov. 24 is explicit.

FDLE statements

“FDLE currently has an open and active investigation into the allegations that Gregory Tony may have falsified required affidavits associated with his sworn law enforcement officer status and/or falsified official law enforcement employment applications,” Riddick wrote. “The status of FDLE’s investigation into Gregory Tony remains ongoing as to Plaintiff’s allegations as well as other undisclosed matters that will remain confidential.”

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FDLE Inspector Keith Riddick

Riddick’s signed and notarized affidavit goes on to say that FDLE “issued subpoenas to certain Governmental Agencies with the State of Pennsylvania requesting disclosure of official court records, law enforcement agency files and criminal arrest records pertaining to Gregory Tony. Said subpoenas were issued by the Broward County State Attorney’s Office.”

The subpoenas were served to the agencies in Pennsylvania on May 11 and again on Sept. 4. “FDLE is currently waiting on a response to the subpoena issued in this investigation for Philadelphia County court records,” Riddick wrote.

Tony has yet to publicly address the accusation that he is a convicted felon. He did not respond to an emailed request for comment on the matter from Florida Bulldog.

Two new lawsuits

On Monday afternoon, Tony’s Republican opponent H. Wayne Clark filed a five-page complaint asking Broward Circuit Judge Michael Robinson to declare that Tony is a convicted felon, a status that under the Florida Constitution would disqualify Tony from holding public office, and to declare Clark “the winner of the election.”

Hours later, former Sheriff Scott Israel – who lost to Tony in last August’s Democratic primary – filed a similar complaint. Israel contends that Tony, as a felon, was ineligible under the constitution to be nominated by the Democratic Party to run in the general election. Both Clark and Israel say they learned of Tony’s felonious past after their respective elections.

Unsuccessful sheriff’s candidates H. Wayne Clark, left, and Scott Israel

“Plaintiff seeks to enjoin Gregory Tony from being sworn in and [to] declare him ineligible to hold office,” both lawsuits say.

Three active lawsuits now seek Tony’s ouster. The first was filed Oct. 30 by Clark and three other unsuccessful candidates, not including Israel, in the primary and general elections.

In the general election Tony outpaced Clark in heavily Democratic Broward by nearly two to one – with 63.3 percent, or 578,536 votes to Clark’s 32.09 percent, or 293,170 votes. Independent Charles “Chuck” Whatley collected just four percent, or 37,572 votes.

In the six-candidate August democratic primary, Tony beat second-place finisher Israel by 79,498 to 74,778 votes.

Sheriff dodged process

Sheriff Tony, who dodged process servers for two weeks before finally being served with official notice of the first lawsuit on Nov. 12, did not attend a court hearing Monday morning. He was, however, represented by a trio of high-priced, well-known lawyers: former American Bar Association president Stephen Zack, former Florida House of Representatives Speaker Jon Mills – both with the powerhouse firm Boies Schiller Flexner – and Michael Moskowitz, an influential Broward government and health-care attorney.

Monday’s hearing didn’t last long. The judge granted a motion by Tony’s lawyers to delay the hearing until after Thanksgiving.

The Florida Constitution’s anti-felony requirement was invoked one year ago in Ocala when Tyrone E. Oliver was barred from taking a seat on the city council due to a felony drug conviction three decades ago, according to news reports. A special election to replace him was held last March, and a runoff after that.

Tony signed a candidate oath last June declaring he was qualified under the constitution and the laws of Florida to hold office. The constitution says, “No person convicted of a felony, or adjudicated in this or any other state to be mentally incompetent, shall be qualified to vote or hold office until restoration of civil rights or removal of disability.”

In 2018, Florida voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 4 that restored voting rights for most felons. The amendment, however, did not restore other civil rights to felons such as the right to serve on a jury or to hold public office.

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Latest comments

  • This clown is a disgusting career criminal. The bigger problem is that broward voters were very much warned that this piece of sewage was dirty and likely going to jail. And with multiple better choices, they still chose this no name drifter. Broward deserves the misery coming up.

  • How much blood do these people want the selfishness,prejudices,racism,power struggle etc,what do you all wants,when are we going to search your hearts,and see all of the lies and things you and I have done you who without sin cast the first stone

  • not sure what penn law is but in florida a 14 year old would not be considered a felon unless waived to adult court, merely an act of delinquency in kiddie court…

  • So much name calling. Hopefully the process and be fair and prudent and resolved ethically and legally.

  • I sure hope the SWAT team is on alert when hoax Sheriff Greg Toney (his real last name) is disarmed and arrested for his numerous felonies prior to taking office. This volatile Philly street con artist became sheriff by deliberately lying to the people of Broward, the Florida governor and 6,000 BSO employees who trusted him for leadership. I suspect those high priced lawyers may be paid by Mr. Sussman the leftist billionaire George Soros wannabe. Those attorneys wouldn’t let Greg Toney mentor their 14 year old kids after what he did to his friend in 1993 in a fit of murderous rage. The police report reveals one shot to the torso and five shots to his head. That’s an execution. Thankfully we now know he covered up all of his criminality for 27 years! Thus to tyrants!

  • Toney or Tony changed his name to hide and lie about his past. He came in and fired good people, which every one of them should get their jobs back and sue Tony and BSO. Tony should of never even been a cop to start with and he was given the power to ruin so many families?? The governor should be ashamed, only in Broward!!

  • Right on target Mr. McMahon. So, let us evaluate this piece of scum: murderer, liar, LSD user; ANYONE who believes that this criminal killed an 18 year old in “self-defense” is just as disturbed as Mr. Toney! Let’s cut the crap here and not bring in the “racism” play card; skin color has NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT THIS SCUMBAG DID AND HAS DONE! Toney is nothing more than a street thug, who knew EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS DOING WHEN HE PUMPED 5 BULLETS INTO HIS VICTIM…”MURDEROUS RAGE” INDEED! Toney goes after deputies and gives the bullshit speech about “ACCOUNTABILITY,” well, how convenient; it’s about time Mr. Toney was held accountable for his numerous felonious actions. Hey Toney, you can always get a job at a “Swingers Club!”

  • Never has a more disgusting animal ever been elected in Florida. The drug addict, deviant. tattooed, criminal loving voter in broward was so aroused over this chump. Shame on all of you fools who voted for him.

  • When will the governor or FDLE remove him? It’s clear to everyone he lied on his applications to the PD and FDLE! He even admitted to his murder arrest, which we found out there are many more

  • I don’t now the specifics of this case, but there is too much emphasis on past convictions and arrests, when the system is clearly biased. We ought not stigmatize people forever who get caught and reform their ways. If they served their time, everything should be as though they did no crime, and the record expunged after so many years. Moreover, many others do the same things, but never get caught, have money, live in a certain area, have a certain skin color, or have certain friends.

    People are so quick to punch others to the ground for any reason – and this, at the end of the day, not only hurts their families, but all of society. Even law enforcement and Intel have this nasty, unethical “gotcha” mentality, and possibly quotas or data driven reviews. Corruption and blackmail are not uncommon in this environment, but they should be impossible.

    Everyone makes mistakes and many things are not of the magnitude that they should be able to be held over people for the rest of their lives, including regarding jobs. The system is retaliatory and punitive, when it should be rehabilitative and productive. The system needs major reform, and a death penalty, not to mention one that kills innocents, is also an unconscionable travesty.

  • OH you mean like the “Death Penalty” the repeat offender gang banger and admitted felon Gerg Toney inflicted on his unarmed teenage friend in 1993? The police never found his friends gun. Is it ok if we can all just shoot out friends five times in the head, run away, change our names and obtain jobs as LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS then covering up the murder for 27 years? Well, good to know Mister Rogers. I bet that If he killed YOUR son, you would be crying for revenge and singing a much different tune right you sanctimonious reprobate?

  • Soon to be EX-Sheriff Toney(Tony) will not be walking away or conning his way out of this one! Rest assured! There are far too many us, that are far smarter, with years of experience, that infinitely more resourceful, than Toney ever anticipated or thought possible. You can BANK ON IT, He’s DONE, the only thing left to do is start mopping up the mess, sort out the charging documents, the FBI is seeing to that, can’t wait to read those 302s. If Toney had any sense he would have negotiated months ago(before Nov. 6th) and used his resignation as a little bargaining chip, maybe to influence FDLE’s handling of how it would go down and help save a little face for DeSantis (who simply got duped into appointing this creep by relying on some underling’s advice that he trusted!). But NOOOOO, Toney, being the narcissistic megalomaniac he is, had to run for office AGAIN!? WTF? Like the evidence we had didn’t even exist? LOL! He’s like the King with no clothes, marching around naked in public while his sycophant lawyers misadvise him, to his detriment, daily. Silly Rabbit, tricks are for kids! Not for kids who shoot their “friends” or “gang rivals”, then skate on the murder with only a gun charge conviction and a couple years incarceration. In the future both Toney and Atty Moskovitz should remember that denials and legal blustering are no protection from trained professionals that are committed to seeking and exposing the Cold Hard Truth! Your Welcome Toney, don’t mention it!

  • I would pay a grand just to WATCH killer Greg’s face DROP during that (under oath) Sworn deposition , when Haddad asked Toney about , if he EVER had ANY past criminal charges ??!!!! YES indeed, Justice IS SERVED! Why couldn’t you answer that relevant question Mr. Integrity? Why Did you and your attorney start sputtering and sweating about a simple routine question and REFUSE to answer? Did you not publicly rage against your employees for lack of “integrity” and “accountability ” at those press conferences? All Police Officers , Detectives and Corrections Officers are often asked that exact question and they are required by the LAW to answer truthfully, but apparently NOT GREG TONY? OK, got it!

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