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Broward Sheriff Tony on trial today with his license to be a police officer on the line

sheriff tony
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony

By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org

Eighteen months after a panel of Florida’s Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission found probable cause to consider revoking Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony’s license to carry a badge and a gun, Tony finally faces the music in a court of law.

The non-jury trial is set to begin at 9 a.m. today before administrative law judge Robert Kilbride in Tallahassee. The refrains are familiar.

A lawyer for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will prosecute the CJSTC’s findings that Tony repeatedly lied under oath when applying for a Florida driver’s license. Assistant General Counsel Natalie Alexandra Bielby will argue that under Florida’s Administrative Code, “the appropriate penalty…is suspension to revocation” of Tony’s license to be a police officer, according to papers filed Friday at the state Division of Administrative Hearings.

Those same court papers, pre-hearing stipulations jointly filed by Bielby and Tony’s Tallahassee attorney, Stephen Webster, say the defense will argue that Tony “did not commit the misconduct alleged and has not violated officer standards.” They show that Tony will rely on the findings of a flawed criminal investigation conducted by the office of Fort Myers State Attorney Amira Fox. Fox’s office declined to charge Tony with felony perjury as recommended by FDLE Inspector Keith Riddick.

perjury
FDLE Inspector Keith Riddick

The driver’s license offenses were part of a broader FDLE investigation of Tony that began after Florida Bulldog exclusively reported in May 2020 that when he was appointed sheriff by Gov. Ron DeSantis in January 2019 Tony kept secret that as a 14-year-old in Philadelphia in 1993 he’d shot and killed a man. All Juvenile Court records about his case were sealed. We reported that on Jan. 7, 2020, as part of his continuing certification as a police officer, Tony signed an FDLE affidavit under oath asserting, among other things, that he’d never had any criminal records sealed or expunged.

Tony was found not guilty of murder after key witnesses failed to appear to testify at trial. Because his court files could be located, however, it could not be determined whether Tony had his case sealed.

TONY’S DRIVING RECORDS

FDLE agents also obtained copies of Tony’s driving records in both Pennsylvania and Florida. Their report says those records show that Tony’s license was suspended twice in Pennsylvania for multiple failures to appear in court, and that over the years he’d repeatedly answered “no” when asked, “Has your driving privilege ever been revoked, suspended or denied in any state?”

Colonel Munib “Benny” Ahmed

Many of Tony’s numerous other false statements, which the FDLE’s July 2021 report says deliberately “misled public servants in the performance of their official duties,’’ were impossible to prosecute because of Florida’s Statute of Limitations.

In addition to having a variety of exhibits, such as copies of Tony’s Pennsylvania and Florida driving records, the prosecution will be calling as witnesses Inspector Riddick, FDLE training and research manager Erica Gaines and two Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) employees, Brittni Romero and Michelle Rolle.

Romero was the driver’s license examiner in Lauderdale Lakes who took Tony’s license application on Feb. 1, 2019 – just 22 days after his appointment as sheriff. Rolle is the office’s general manager.

Tony had gone there to obtain a new license that would remove his home address and replace it with his address at the sheriff’s office. He was accompanied by his executive officer, BSO Col. Munib “Benny” Ahmed.

NO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION

After taking a taped statement from Romero, Riddick recommended that Tony be charged with “felony perjury.” But in January 2022 Anthony Kunasek, the special prosecutions chief in Fort Myers, decided against prosecuting Tony criminally in a close-out memo citing what he said was examiner Romero’s “uncertainty’’ about Tony in her sworn statement to FDLE.

The late Anthony Kunasek

Kunasek, who killed himself in May 2022, didn’t tell the full story. For example, he misrepresented the significance of what Romero had to say about how she processed Tony that day. Kunasek wrote that Romero “initially stated that she may have marked or ‘pulled over’ information from a previous application as she was trying to hurry or rush Sheriff Tony through the process.”

The implication was that Romero had mistakenly pulled over Tony’s “no” answer from an earlier form. But in a separate interview, DHSMV Systems Evaluation Unit manager Barbara Peacock told FDLE that the system did not allow such a transfer of information to occur.

Sheriff Tony listed as his witnesses Col. Ahmed and Sonia Colon, who is not further identified. Colon, however, is a longtime employee of the DHSMV in Tallahassee. She is also said to be Tony’s friend.

Two days have been set aside for trial. Judge Kilbride will have 30 days to announce his decision. Anyone interested in watching the trial can click here for instructions on how to attend via Zoom.

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Latest comments

  • Felony Perjury was proven in the investigation so Removal from office is the likely recommendation.

  • Although I have zero confidence this will result in the dancing turd losing his certification. It is my prayer that he will get whats coming to him and this will lead to a guily verdict in the second case against him, with his ethics violation(s) trial resulting in Desantis removing him. For whatever reason, Desantis is scared beyond words of the ball grabbing liar. But if everything played out as it is intended to, this should end this deviant fools reign. We’ll see I guess….

  • There are no words to describe the miscarriage of justice that happened when this murdering, philandering, liar was appointed, by the governor, to lead the Broward Sheriff’s Office. As more and more facts came out, the governor refused to take any action. “He’s not MY Sheriff,” DeSantis once explained. So, now let’s see if our Democracy will be further undermined,our trust and belief in Law Enforcement will take a fast elevator to the sub-basement, or if THE LAW will prevail. There is so much at stake in Broward County, as well as FloriDUH.

  • It is unfortunate that the sheriff had to lie in order to become a police officer. The first time he applied to law enforcement he was denied employment because of his record and earned a lesson any number of minority job applicants have experienced. If you want the job, you have to lie about any missteps with the law.
    As it is, Gregory Tony turned out to be a pretty good sheriff. I heard him speak once and recognized he went to great lengths to engage the community, update training procedures, hire more women and minorities. The only drawback being some of those improvements rubbed legacy white officers the wrong way. That results in the kind of backstabbing common to established law enforcement agencies when the old school cops don’t like the modernization of the force.
    I know because my Uncle Donnie Temmer served in law enforcement for 45 years and he was a good cop and detective who loathed the old school bad cops. Unlike my other Uncle Joe who being an old school cop liked to beat suspects and “bounce a nightstick up under their crotch to make them dance like a puppet”. That’s something Sheriff Tony would not tolerate.
    Too bad, he likely will be bounced himself.

  • In this era of wanton abandonment of truth telling by politicians and their followers, the apex of adherence TO the truth must be with law enforcement and the courts.

    I like Sheriff Tony’s approach to progressive, interactive law enforcement, but not so much as to allow him a “pass” for the asking. Let’s see how this evolves.

  • Mr. Buehler, its clear that you’ve never held a position that you had to earn and qualify for. To suggest that Toney had to lie, mislead, and overall ignore any and all the rules, FDLE and State statutes, is disturbing. For you to also suggest that you support an officially documented liar, who was placed on the Brady List, and someone who shot his friend in the back and head, and a documented drug user and narcotic seller, and a hypocrite that terminates employees for things that fall way short of his actions, indicates to me that you are simply a race baiting clown, no better that the fool you are defending. Toney has no business holding the lowest entry level position, anywhere. In fact he should be in prison, not posing as one of the lead law enforcement officers in the state of Florida. Thank God your opinion holds no water in Broward County. PS- Not sure if you are gullible or just ignorant of Tony’s history. But I suggest you educate yourself before embarrassing yourself by supporting a character like him again.

  • Keep up the good work. Amira Fox was trying to place blame on Kunasek for a lot of transgressions and some actual criminal conduct by the SA. He was following orders, but, Fox thru him under the bus to take the heat when the FBI came knocking. Then he saw life in jail or suicide as his options,

  • Yes let’s hope justice prevails. Perjury is one of the worst violations a law enforcement officer can commit. Tony needs to be stripped of his certification and removed like any other officer would be.

  • This is not complicated. Greg Tony did several things that the “normal” Deputy would get fired over and have the certification permanently revoked. Tony is getting special treatment because DeSantis The Dummy appointed him. The rest of this is a bunch of lawyers and a few judges helping this extremely flawed Sheriff stay in office. When he gets a pass, which he will, what do you say to the hundreds of ex cops who were fired for less? You tell them the truth. Greg Tony is scum with friends in high places. The good news is we get to listen to Mr Home Invasion Robbery tell us how important integrity is. The whole thing is a joke. Greg Tony put three bullets in a guys head and now he’s the Sheriff😂😂😂. What a Country.

  • Right now it’s in God’s hands. The verdict will be whatever it is and none of us can do anything about it.

  • I spent several years as the personnel supervisor for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. The idea is to hire the best qualified applicant for the position and in my opinion, Gregory Tony was not the best qualified applicant for sheriff of Broward County. However, having said that, in the State of Florida, you do not have to be a certified law enforcement officer to be a sheriff. Although if he loses his certificate, he will not be able to wear the uniform, carry a badge and make arrest as a law enforcement officer. But he can continue to be sheriff.

  • Notice DeSantis appointed Tony and also appointed his crony Amira Fox to “investigate” the case. Amira Fox was also appointed by DeSantis to the State medical examiners board and was appointed to other cases from other circuits where DeSantis wanted to put the fix in. Amira Fox has publicly expressed her support of DeSantis and obviously DeSantis’ appointments of Fox indicate DeSantis’ reliance upon this crony to push his agenda and protect his appointee Tony.

    Guess who appointed Amira Fox when the 20th State’s Attorney office was vacated after the retirement of Stephen Russell. Looks like a lot of love between Amira Fox and DeSantis.

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