Scott 'appreciative' of law enforcement support - WFLA News Channel 8

Scott 'appreciative' of law enforcement support

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File photo of Gov. Rick Scott File photo of Gov. Rick Scott
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Dealing with a campaign controversy over on-duty law enforcement at campaign events, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he is “appreciative” of law enforcement support.

Scott’s campaign is the target of an elections complaint filed by a retired police lieutenant from Broward County over the appearance of law enforcement at political campaign events.

The complaint cites a tweet by News Channel 8 reporter Lauren Mayk about confusion on the campaign trail, when representatives from two law enforcement agencies left an event in Tampa last month when they found out it was a campaign event.

It also cites Florida law saying a candidate may not “in the furtherance of his or her candidacy for nomination or election to public office in any election, use the services of any state, county, municipal, or district officer or employee during working hours.”

Last week, Scott appeared at a campaign event with a line-up of law enforcement, including nine on-duty deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.  A representative from HCSO said the deputies never would have attended – on duty or in uniform – if they had known it was a campaign event.

The Scott campaign insists it followed the rules. Asked whether he thought the deputies were off-duty on Monday, Scott responded:

“I’m very proud that last week the police chiefs endorsed me. I’m very proud that 40 sheriffs have endorsed me. I’m very  proud of all the support from the law enforcement, we’re at a 43 low in our crime rate so we invite them to our campaign events and I’m very appreciative of the ones who came.”

Asked in a follow-up question whether he thinks it’s a problem to have on-duty law enforcement there, Scott reiterated: “I’m very appreciative of their support and those that come to my events.”

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