By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
Two years after it began, a multi-faceted state investigation of Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony has ended without the filing of any criminal charges.
Amira Fox, state attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit based in Fort Myers, issued a memo and a report late Monday declaring that the most serious allegations involving Tony, including lies about his arrest for murder in 1993 when he was 14-years-old, as either “lacking sufficient evidence” or “barred by the statute of limitations.”
An accompanying 15-page report by Florida Department of Law Enforcement Inspector Keith Riddick says that Tony declined last June to be interviewed.
The only “potentially viable” claim against Tony presented to her office by the FDLE related to an alleged false statement on a driver’s license replacement application Tony e-signed on Feb. 1, 2019, just 22 days after his appointment by Gov. Ron DeSantis. In the electronic document, Tony answered “no” when asked whether his driving privilege had ever been revoked, suspended or denied in any state. In fact, Tony’s driving privilege was suspended in Pennsylvania in the early 1990s. Further, before signing Tony attested that the answers he gave were true and correct.
In the memo, Fox’s special prosecutions chief Anthony Kunasek wrote prosecutors declined to charge Tony with perjury after the clerk in the Lauderdale Lakes office of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles who asked Tony those questions and electronically marked the document gave a sworn statement with uncertain testimony about what happened.
“The clerk’s uncertainty as to whether she actually asked Sheriff Tony the question, and his actual answer was then documented by the clerk, precludes the state from being able to prove the criminal allegations beyond a reasonable doubt,” the memo says.
But that’s not how the situation was described in Riddick’s report, which recommends Tony be charged with “false affidavit perjury” – a third degree felony – by “knowingly and willfully” swearing that the false statements he made – that he had not had a driver’s license revoked, suspended or denied in any state – were true.
FDLE’s report says inspectors obtained a sworn affidavit from the clerk, a driver’s license examiner named Brittni Romero, who testified she not only remembered the transaction with Tony but “further advised that Tony filled and answered the questions on the application himself. Furthermore, as part of the application process, Romero stated that she was required to read the above described attestation that Tony then signed.
Nevertheless, Kunasek’s memo concludes there would be no charge filed against Tony. Instead, he offers “the suggestion that FDLE submit all the material generated from its investigation to the Florida Commission on Ethics for review.”
An FBI investigation of Tony for suspected bid rigging, fraud and kickbacks involving BSO’s 2019 purchase of bleeding control stations from a South Carolina company where Tony once worked is moribund, sources have said.
CASE MOVED OUT OF BROWARD
The case was originally worked by FDLE with the Broward State Attorney’s Office. DeSantis transferred it to Fox’s office last fall. At the time, sources said the reason was at FDLE’s request because of State Attorney Harold Pryor’s reluctance to charge Tony. The FDLE report released by Fox is dated July 19, 2021 and states that it was presented to Pryor’s office for his determination.
Perhaps the most serious aspect of the FDLE investigation was that Tony lied on his January 2020 FDLE Criminal Justice and Standards Training form in which he checked false to the question “I had a criminal record sealed or expunged.”
That allegation involved Tony’s May 4, 1993 arrest by Philadelphia police for previous day’s murder of Hector “Chino” Rodriguez, 18. In addition to murder, the homicide file revealed that Tony was also charged with possessing instruments of crime, possession of an unlicensed firearm and carrying firearms on public streets or public property. Tony was released into the custody of what is today the city’s Juvenile Justice Services Center and bond was set at $15,000, the report says.
No official court records could be found regarding the disposition of the arrest, but “open source information” showed Tony went to trial on Dec. 15, 1993 and was found not guilty of all charges.
Riddick wrote that, via subpoenas, he attempted to obtain all Pennsylvania court records about the homicide case, as well as a pair of adult probation cases in which Tony was identified as a defendant – one in 1992 and another in 1994.
Nobody at the city’s district attorneys’ office would talk on the record, and those that would talk on background said the records about Tony were no longer in the office “and they surmised that the records were expunged.” Similar responses were given by the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, where trial was held, and the Philadelphia police.
Riddick’s conclusion letting Tony off the hook: “Although the records pertaining to the arrest of Gregory Tony for the murder of Hector Rodriguez appeared to have been expunged, OEI (FDLE’s Office of Executive Investigation) Inspectors were unable to find any documentation which identified who requested and/or caused said expungement.”
TONY’S LIES ON LAW ENFORCEMENT APPLICATIONS
Riddick also examined Tony’s law enforcement related applications. At the Tallahassee Police Department, it was noted that Tony was excluded from employment after admitting to felony use and possession of LSD. But because Tony’s employment application had been routinely destroyed years ago, “it was not possible to determine if Tony disclosed the aforementioned Pennsylvania criminal history.”
Tony’s application to attend Tallahassee Community College’s law enforcement academy in 2004 showed Tony “provided false information” to questions regarding his traffic citation history, drug use, and his arrest history “since he failed to disclose his arrest for murder in Pennsylvania,” the report says.
But even though “it appears that Tony knowingly and willfully mislead public servants in the performance of their official duties in. making false statements in writing on his official applications,” the report says, no criminal prosecution was possible due to Florida’s statute of limitations.
Tony repeated those lies by omission on his application to join the Coral Springs Police Department in 2005, according to the report. Tony got the job, which lasted until September 2016, and today he also gets off the hook thanks to Florida’s Statute of Limitations.
On Jan. 10, 2019 FDLE’s background investigations unit was ordered to check Tony out in preparation for his appointment as sheriff the next day. As part of that, Tony was asked to provide the governor’s office with a one-page biography. It noted he’d grown up on “the crime-ridden street (sic) of Philadelphia’s inner city”…”when drugs and violent crime were consuming the majority of his peers, Greg (Tony) took to sports to find an escape.”
“It should be noted,” the report says, “that Tony failed to disclose in the letter to the Governor, information pertaining to his self-disclosed drug history and his arrest for murder by the PPD (Philadelphia Police Department.)”
Gary Lalonde / January 31, 2022 11:26 pm
And as predicted GT remains Top Cop of Broward County.
Wesley Marton / February 1, 2022 4:52 am
Read the article, then read his biography on the Broward BSO website:
If you don’t have time to read the whole biography, skip the Accountability section.
“The only thing worse than a liar is a liar who is also a hypocrite!” Tennessee Williams
Therealtruth / February 1, 2022 8:48 am
How can a law enforcement officer “decline” to interview for FDLE? So as law enforcement officers, you can lie about murder, arrests and drug use but can get away with it if you are able to change your name to hide it for years? Regardless of criminal charges, it was proven he lied numerous times which is enough to be removed by the Govenor.
Pete Rosenthall / February 1, 2022 5:24 pm
What you’ve just seen is racism blatantly stuck up the azzes of every law enforcement officer in the country. This man deserves prison and the blatant hands off cuz he’s Blake should make every hard working citizen writhe in fury. As a country, we are done.
Pete Rosenthall / February 1, 2022 5:36 pm
Thanks Desantis. Broward now has a drug using/selling psychotic killer running around with a gun hypocritically firing lifetime dedicated officers while sticking his middle finger up at everyone including you. He is the epitome of evil and a predator. A straight up thug criminal. We are no better than Venezuela or North Korea and its being done right out in the open with no shame. Broward deserves what it gets as the Feds have also dropped their charges and now this coke fueled psycho knows his race has made him unstoppable. Lots of great black candidates, and this is who Broward is in love with???
Diane Maranto / February 1, 2022 7:34 pm
Let us NOT FORGET THAT ANDREW POLLACK (Tony/Toney’s) gym buddy was responsible for SHOVING THIS MURDERER/DRUG USER/LIAR in DeSantis’ face because of the Parkland Shooting! DeSantis “Kow-Towed” to Pollack and the Parkland parents WITHOUT KNOWING ANYTHING ABOUT the TRUE Tony/Toney…POLITICS AT ITS’ BEST!!! WELL SAID Rosenthall!
Therealtruth / February 2, 2022 7:47 am
The union president expressed the concerns of the membership, which is the function of any union. Tony took it personal and illegally fired him for “UNTRUTHFULNESS” . How is Tony allowed to accuse anyone of that? The FDLE investigation revealed Tony committed perjury numerous times and you cant be affiliated with law enforcement with that history. The govenor has no other choice but to remove him ASAP.
Pingback: State prosecutors file no charges against Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony - Digital Guruji / February 2, 2022 7:55 am
D Maranto / February 2, 2022 8:14 am
AMEN! “THE REAL TRUTH” It’s a JOKE. Imagine that low-life piece-of-shit (TONY/TONEY) LIAR accusing and holding deputies accountable (as you’ve indicated), for “UNTRUTHFULNESS!” A “finger-pointer,” AND scumbag; as was his predecessor, Scott Israel…two skanks with their own POLITICAL agendas in mind. It will be very interesting to see what DeSantis does, after all, he is in a “RE-ELECTION” YEAR! We’ll see if DeSantis has morals, and holds Sheriff MURDERER/LSD User/LIAR ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS “UNTRUTHFULNESS!”
Fuck Tony / February 4, 2022 3:56 pm
None of this makes sense. It doesn’t matter when he committed the crime. What matters is when he lied about it on an official affidavit. To say the crimes were too old is mind boggling. It’s never to late to charge someone with lying to become a police officer. What’s really going on here? What does Tony have on the governor or what favors has he done. 2 & 2 isn’t adding up!
D Maranto / February 6, 2022 11:30 am
“QUID PRO QUO” FUCK TONY! Here’s the breakdown:
1) Parkland Shooting; Shooting becomes POLITICAL…
2) Andrew Pollack leads the “pack”
3) Tony/Toney’s name presented to DeSantis, as his pick by POLLACK (Tony’s gym buddy) and “pick” backed by Parkland parents).
4) “Vetting” process by FDLE Keith Riddick a joke; FDLE IS UNDER DESANTIS
5) MURDERER/LIAR/LSD USER appointed Sheriff…
6) BROWARD COUNTY POLITICIANS (INCLUDING RECENTLY APPOINTED BROWARD COUNTY COMMISSIONER JARED MOSKOWITZ), ALL HAD THEIR HANDS IN THE PARKLAND SHOOTING; A HORRIFIC TRAGEDY, AND CONTINUE TO DO SO 4 YEARS LATER…
7) It’s real easy to understand
8) DeSantis is in a RE-ELECTION YEAR!
Rosenthall is right on point; “his (Tony’s) “race” has made him unstoppable.” GOD IS GREATER THAN ANY EVIL; HE SITS ON THE THRONE AND IN HIS TIME, ALL WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE! Just saying…
Therealtruth / February 7, 2022 10:42 am
Perjury is criminal, Desantis has no choice but to remove Tony after it was proven by FDLE he committed multiple offenses. He cant remove Isreal for not liking his policies, and not remove Tony for worse criminal reasons. Tony is ruining BSO with his lack of experience, intimidation and temper. Deputies are worried to be proactive in fear Tony will terminate them too. Contract cities have said this same thing publicly so we need Desantis to step up and do the right thing.
Kevin A Bolling / February 11, 2022 11:46 am
All of the above comments are true, I’ve checked but in a county with 1.9 people in it, and 3 or 4000 people get involved. Most people think justice just happens. Isreal should not have been removed from office for the reason he was “his leadership style”. he should have been fired for lying and supporting the misguided attack on his Deputy. He figured the MSD shooting out in 6days threw a Deputy under the bus (WRONGLY). The facts are in with sworn depos of eye witness and that told the truth to FDLE and BSO and the state Attorneys Office. FDLE Riddick and the MSD Commission know the truth and in the words of the Sheriff that leads the Commission “fairytale story”.
This sheriff tony/toney lied when he said “I fired Peterson”. Never happened, public records show he lied and never filled the paperwork out because you can’t fire a guy who is retired for 1800 months. Peterson has more integrity in his radio finger than tony/toney has in his lifetime, proven liar, drug user, and killer. Tug life is real, and should never be rewarded with tax dollars. He has not been charged with theft yet, but the audit has not been completed.
Petersons attoney has offered to have a sit down with anyone who wants