Earlier this year, when New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul was frustrated with progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg — one of many criminal justice reformers whose campaigns were funded by billionaire financier and activist George Soros — she sat him down for a stern talking-to.
Part of the problem was that Bragg had made it clear he wasn’t going to enforce many of the city’s laws after his election in 2021, as City Journal’s Thomas Hogan noted.
“Who goes to jail on Bragg’s watch?” he wrote. “Virtually no one. The only people Bragg recommends for pretrial detention and later prison sentences are murderers, shooters who actually cause serious injuries — firing 50 shots down a crowded street won’t get you locked up if you don’t hit anybody — sex offenders, and perpetrators of specific offenses such as domestic violence or public corruption.”
Those kinds of Chesa Boudin-esque policies obviously scared the good burghers of Manhattan’s wealthier ZIP codes, and for good reason.
Thus, Hochul had a meeting with Bragg to remind him that she had the authority to remove lower office-holders like him and said her “highest priority is protecting the safety of New Yorkers.”
“I reiterated my belief that safety and justice must go hand-in-hand,” the governor said in a statement after the meeting.
A firm talking to. That’s what Alvin Bragg got for saying he wasn’t going to enforce the law.
Meanwhile, when a similarly Soros-funded prosecutor in Florida — Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren — announced he wasn’t going to be enforcing the law, GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t just yank him from office, he had the police evict him.
What a difference a party makes.
On Thursday, DeSantis signed an executive order suspending Warren, whose county encompasses Tampa, citing “neglect of duty” and “incompetence.”
In his executive order, DeSantis noted the state attorney had enacted policies in which he would not prosecute “certain criminal violations, including trespassing at a business location, disorderly conduct, disorderly intoxication and prostitution.”
However, as CNN noted, Warren’s removal was precipitated by his refusal to enforce Florida’s laws forbidding abortion after 15 weeks and banning gender transitioning procedures on children.
And not only that, DeSantis dispatched law enforcement to evict the prosecutor.
“As of the signing of this Executive Order, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by other law enforcement agencies as necessary, is requested to: (1) assist in the immediate transition of Andrew Warren from the Office of the State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida, with access only to retrieve his personal belongings; and (ii) ensure that no files, papers, documents, notes, records, computers, or removable storage media are removed from the Office of the State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida by Andrew Warren or any of his staff,” the executive order read.
DeSantis made it clear that Andrew Warrens weren’t tolerated in Florida the same way that Alvin Braggs are in New York.
“To take a position that you have veto powers over the laws of the state is untenable,” the governor — flanked by law enforcement officials — said during a media briefing.
“The prosecutor, state attorney for this judicial circuit, Andrew Warren, has put himself publicly above the law,” he said.
“In June of 2021, he signed a letter saying that he would not enforce any prohibitions on sex change operations for minors … and then most recently, after the Dobbs decision was rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court, he signed a letter saying he would not enforce any laws relating to protecting the right to life in the state of Florida — and mind you, we have had prohibition on third-trimester abortions for a long time.”
“When you flagrantly violate your oath of office, when you make yourself above the law, you have violated your duty, you have neglected your duty and you are displaying a lack of competence to be able to perform those duties,” DeSantis said. “And so today, we are suspending State Attorney Andrew Warren effective immediately.”
He made it clear that he wasn’t going to idly threaten to suspend officials who cherry-picked which laws to enforce, the same way Hochul did with Bragg.
“We’ve seen across this country, over the last few years, individual prosecutors take it upon themselves to determine which laws they like and will enforce and which laws they don’t like and then don’t enforce,” DeSantis said.
“The Constitution of Florida has vested the veto in the governor, not in individual state attorneys,” the governor said.
Warren, who was re-elected in 2020, “was one of many prosecutors who were backed in 2016 by groups supported by the billionaire liberal investor George Soros,” The New York Times noted.
Soros’ movement to transform the American criminal justice system for the worse has continued apace.
At least one DA backed by the billionaire has been removed by voters this year: the aforementioned Chesa Boudin, who was recalled by San Francisco voters fed up with his soft-on-crime policies.
Another, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, will know in the coming weeks if opponents have gathered enough signatures to put him on a recall ballot this November.
Warren, of course, claimed this was more about enhancing DeSantis’ reputation nationwide than anything else.
“Today’s political stunt is an illegal overreach that continues a dangerous pattern by Ron DeSantis of using his office to further his own political ambition,” he said in a statement, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “It spits in the face of the voters of Hillsborough County who have twice elected me to serve them, not Ron DeSantis.”
Actually, they elected Warren to enforce the law. He says he won’t, which is flagrant neglect of duty.
If suspending him raises the political visibility of Ron DeSantis, well, good. Instead of taking the Kathy Hochul approach, he literally evicted one of Soros’ pet picks.
We could use a few more of him.