Brenda Snipes sues Rick Scott to be reinstated as Broward County elections supervisor

Brenda Snipes, is suing outgoing Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott as she tries to get her old job back. 

Snipes, 75, filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday against Scott and state Senate President Bill Galvano saying the decision to suspend her was “malicious” and politically motivated, according to local reports. She argues the state violated her right to due process and that the law permitting governors to force elected officials to one side is unconstitutional. 

“Snipes seeks to fight for her reputation and stand up against the embarrassment that has been caused by Governor Scott’s unnecessary and malicious suspension,” the suit asserts, the Sun-Sentinel reported. “At this point Governor Scott’s allegations have gone unchallenged as he sits high on a throne utilizing state resources to continually humiliate Snipes.” 

A spokesman for Scott, John Tupps, told the outlet Snipes’ legal action was just “a desperate move from someone who has already officially submitted her resignation.” 

“This is simply an attempt by Ms. Snipes to rewrite the history of her failed leadership,” Tupps said. 

Snipes announced this month she had changed her minds about resigning on Jan. 4 after Scott stood her down in November for “misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty.” Scott had replaced Snipes, a Democrat, with Republican Peter Antonacci, the soon-to-be Florida senator’s former general counsel. 

Snipes, who was first appointed to the position in 2003, submitted her resignation last month following the completion of a manual recount of Florida’s 2018 Senate, gubernatorial, and agricultural commissioner races. Scott and the National Republican Senatorial Committee had successfully sued Snipes while the election results were still uncertain for failing to release information about the number of votes cast and how many ballots had yet to be counted in Broward County. The county also lost 2,000 votes during the hand recount, mixed irregular ballots with valid ones, and missed a deadline to disclose machine recount outcomes by two minutes. Snipes had previously been accused of destroying votes and publishing results too early during past elections held in the heavily Democratic county. 

Snipes was named elections supervisor in the 2003 by then-Republican Gov. Jeb Bush after her predecessor, Miriam Oliphant, also a Democrat, was removed from the post for incompetence. Snipes was then re-elected in 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. She was due to stay in the role until the end of 2020.

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