Brenda Snipes Removed By Governor For Botching Elections; Replacement Had Key Role In Oliphant’s Suspension

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

Brenda Snipes is history as Broward’s chief election official.

 

Brenda Snipes

 

Snipes botched so many elections that she was removed by Gov Rick Scott on Friday.

The replacement picked by Scott was lawyer Peter Antonacci, who had a key role 14 years ago in the removal of  Snipes’ predecessor Miriam Oliphant. 

For those who remember the charges against Oliphant in her 2003 removal, Friday’s action was deja vu. 

Scott’s news released termed Snipes’ performance in office “misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty….(she) missed deadlines, lost ballots and (her failure to) report basic information to the public, which resulted in multiple violations of Florida law. This follows multiple documented instances throughout Ms. Snipes’ term where Florida laws were broken including posting election results before polls closed and authorizing the improper destruction of ballots.”

Oliphant similarly was accused by Gov. Jeb Bush of “grave and frequent neglect, gross ignorance of official duties and gross carelessness in and improper discharge of official duties.”

Antonacci was appointed in 2004 by Bush to defend the governor’s removal of Oliphant in her Senate impeachment trial. The Senate had the final decision on whether her suspension should be permanent.

The Senate later voted 32-7 to make the suspension permanent.

Antonacci had earlier represented Bush’s daughter, Noelle Bush, when she was arrested on prescription drug fraud charges. Charges were dismissed after she completed a treatment program.

Scott’s former general counsel, Antonacci is currently the business development group Enterprise Florida’s president and CEO.  He will serve as elections chief for the remainder of Snipes’ term, which ends after the November 2020 election.

 

Peter Antonacci

 

The selection of Antonacci puts to rest all the speculation about which local political figure the governor would pick to replace Snipes, who had already resigned as of Jan. 1 when she was suspended.

Browardbeat.com posted a laudatory article about former Property Appraiser Lori Parrish, after her name surfaced in other local media as a possible replacement for Snipes. That post was headlined “Dear Governor: Don’t Replace Snipes With A Hack” and nobody has ever accused the highly-experienced Antonacci of being a hack, although he was a registered lobbyist once.

One Antonacci lobbying client was Mutual Benefits, a Fort Lauderdale insurance company that was later shut down after accusations that it had bilked investors out of roughly $800 million on the sale of policies to the terminally ill and elderly.  Antonacci was part of a lobbying team of 11 hired by the firm in 2003 as it tried to fend off fraud charges, according to a Sun-Sentinel story.

Below is the complete news release from the governor’s office:

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2018
CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE

(850) 717-9282
media@eog.myflorida.com

 

Gov. Scott Suspends Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes from Office, Appoints Replacement

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Following widespread issues with voting in Broward County, Governor Rick Scott today issued Executive Order 18-342 to immediately suspend Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes from office for misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty. The authority for the Governor to take this action is outlined in Article IV Section 7 of the Florida Constitution. The Governor has appointed Peter Antonacci to serve as Supervisor of Elections in Broward County. Mr. Antonacci will serve for the remainder of the term until a replacement can be chosen by voters in November 2020. During the 2018 General Election, according to numerous media reports, Broward County election officials missed deadlines, lost ballots and couldn’t report basic information to the public, which resulted in multiple violations of Florida law. This follows multiple documented instances throughout Ms. Snipes’ term where Florida laws were broken including posting election results before polls closed and authorizing the improper destruction of ballots.

 

Governor Scott said, “Every eligible voter in Florida deserves their vote to be counted and should have confidence in Florida’s elections process. After a series of inexcusable actions, it’s clear that there needs to be an immediate change in Broward County and taxpayers should no longer be burdened by paying a salary for a Supervisor of Elections who has already announced resignation. I know that Pete will be solely focused on running free and fair elections, will not be running for election and will bring order and integrity back to this office.”

 

Peter Antonacci currently serves as the President and CEO of Enterprise Florida. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director of the South Florida Water Management District and as General Counsel for the Governor. Previously, Mr. Antonacci served as State Attorney in Palm Beach County. He has also served as a governing board member of the Northwest Florida Water Management District, a member of the Florida Ethics Commission, Statewide Prosecutor of Florida and Deputy Attorney General. Mr. Antonacci has also served on multiple Judicial Nominating Commissions.

 

Raised in Hialeah, Mr. Antonacci attended Hialeah High School and Miami Dade College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University as well as a Juris Doctorate from Florida State University College of Law.

 

 

 

 



23 Responses to “Brenda Snipes Removed By Governor For Botching Elections; Replacement Had Key Role In Oliphant’s Suspension”

  1. Kevin Tynan says:

    Pete is an excellent public servant and will serve our county well.

  2. GET THE VOTE RIGHT says:

    Miriam Oliphant ran against David Brown and won the office of Supervisor of Elections, but couldn’t handle the job and was removed by the governor for incompetence. BRENDA SNIPES was appointed to the office and then ran against David Brown, who was strongly endorsed by the Sun Sentinel, but she couldn’t handle the job and has been removed by Governor Scott for incompetence. I just saw a bumper sticker that says, “Don’t blame me, I voted for DAVID BROWN for Supervisor of Elections”. That’s exactly what I’m going to do in 2020.

  3. Rico Petrocelli says:

    Great Choice…..

  4. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    This was done out of spite.Dr.Snipes by her own accord was retiring next month.Was it really that urgent with her leaving next month was this neccessary.Again she accepting the fact that this last election was a disaster.She was leaving.The catalyst here is and was the revelation of her pension compensation.She earned it.Worked in education and then at the SOE office.She probably put in over 30 yrs or darn close to it.She was leaving to suspend her now just proves to me the Gov was disgruntled.Don.t blame her u won with just over 10thou votes( State wide).Yes her upper management stinks but she was leaving in a month.So now u put this man in who will be dealing with her staff.Whats the difference?.Snipes or Antonacci.What should be done is a special election like yesterday.Suspending her knowing full well she is leaving next month is for no other reason but to be nasty.Big question being suspended does this now effect her pension?.If it does this is your answer to her suspension fron office….

  5. Chaz Stevens says:

    Hey Tynan

    Remember how you were Steve Gonot’s charactet witness in court?

    Dude is valeting cars in Pompano.

    Good job ace.

  6. Brown is a joke says:

    Please,dopey dave and idiot adam put someone in to close the primary believing because jeb appointed her long before her mistakes the republicans would vote for her…these guys couldnt win a campaign to save their lives

  7. Sheila Alu says:

    Perfect choice!!!

  8. Recovering Catholic says:

    Ok, nice work. Now it’s time to suspend Sheriff Israel and run out the clock until 2020. Does Rick Scott realize that we STILL send our kids to school every day with a policy that allows law enforcement to CHOOSE not to enter a building when children are being shot? The policy has not changed. Hello? Tallahassee?

  9. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    What’s the difference? THE CLOWNS WHO GAVE HER LOUSEY ADVISE ON THE BALLOT THAT PROBABLY COST BILL NELSON HIS SEAT WILL BE GONE!

  10. Tell The Truth says:

    Thank You Governor Scott.
    Carpe diem Peter Antonacci.

    This selection spares Broward County citizens the backroom wheeling and dealing that likely would have resulted in the appointment of these other locals who names were bandied about. There would have been no impartiality by them in this critical role. The property appraiser role does not oversee elections. An ex-Tally elected would have expected bias. Either way all dems.

  11. A fly on the wall says:

    And now Brenda is rescinding her resignation, lawyering up, surrounding herself with sorority ladies dressed in red and Dale Holness. She is playing the victim and playing the race card to keep her pension.

    Brenda needs to keep to her word and move on. There are consequences for incompetence. Every voter in Broward County deserves an honest election supervised by a competent administrator and executed by honest staff.
    It might be worth it to give her the pension if she will sign a commitment to never run for office in Broward County again. Sort of an insurance policy against the SNAFU effect of her years in the SOE office.

  12. Gimme a break says:

    Snipes should have protected herself and resigned immediately instead of months out. .

    Brenda played a game of chicken and lost. She knowingly set her resignation date that most likely would have had the LT GOv as Gov to make the pick. Clearly she tried to avoid Scott or DeSantis making the pick.

    For all the outraged, you do recall why we dont have a Dem in the US Senate? Snipes ignored the Code of Ballot designed and put out a faulty ballot design costing Nelson the election. I dont hear Sen Nelson up in arms over her removal.

    Even if this was petty, Brenda Snipes needs to answer, under oath, for her negligent, harmful conduct at SOE. Why would anyone be opposed to this?

  13. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Ok so i was right.By suspended Dr.Snipes she does’t get to keep her pension.
    Yes, not just hers but the whole pension process needs to be revised.
    However, so Gov.Scott takes her pension away. Why the suspension now?.Its all about the timing. Its mean spirited and she worked for that pension for 15 yrs- come on.
    Dr.Snipes keep Attty Weeks on the side lines go with Atty Pettis is your best course of action.Stay away from, “Oh Its because im Black( your not going up against George Wallace here).” Stick with the issues.
    That pension is warranted and u r entitled to it. Have Pettis put Gov.Scott on the witness stand (judging by past observation when Scott is drilled (questioned) he comes across as a deer facing car headlights-he freezes.
    Bring out the fact u were leaving next month.Prove the suspension sole purpose is and was to take away your pension, which u rightly earned.His only objection was to punish u.
    That pension is hers folks. She won election after election fair and square.This is your Trump card Mrs.Snipes.
    Keep Sylvia Porter and the ladies in red on a short leash.U don.t need them.Don’t go the race card, just the sequence of events since the election.
    I still can’t believe her pension is forfeited because of Scotts suspension.I still can’t get over this that her SOE pension will be withdrawn.Im still baffled.Suspension one thing but to lose her pension?
    She committed no crime.Ok her staff ran a shitty office- fine but for her to lose that pension.I’m not buying it.We will see…Those in the know what happens next?.Is the pension forfeited?.Or does a judge have final say??.

  14. No No No says:

    @2. Hello David Brown. Why don’t you sign your own name? Nobody wants retreads from the past, nor Democratic Party flunky. Let us have a fresh face.

  15. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    The issue now is WHO RUNS IN 2020 for Super on the Dem.Line.
    Will Holness get ‘His’ candidate elected?

  16. carolina says:

    Just a thought! Is it possible that all these ballot problems were deliberately created by someone involved in the counting process, someone who did not like Snipes, but did know what to do in order to create the end result of this election? Just wondering!

  17. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Just read the editorial in the Sun- Sentinel regarding the Gov.Scott suspension of SOE Dr.Snipes when he knew full well that she sent him vertabum that she was steping down etc on specified specific time date and certain when she would be vacating. her elected postion.Editorial went on to say basically suspension was not warranted by Gov.Scott.Where Dr.Snipes is going to prevail.Gov.Scott ignored and refused or acknowledge resignation letter.Bingo your Trump.U will now prove only reason for Gov.Scott action had malice intent( this is where i nail alot of u in court($).She will say motive was when Scott discovered Snipes is pension(illrevant)that he decided she did not deserve petion due to her job performance.Not his desicion to make.What its excessive well so is every other elected offical.Snipes will state yeah i was elected over and over again.Residents seem to think im doing ok or they would not put me into office.Residents are responsible for my petion not Scott.Don.t like the figures write to Giv.Scott and state or county comm pay to excessive(178g).See my point.She will prove malice intent.Pay up bald white boy she will state.Attty Pettis take note.Get her on every interview possible.Go national.Remember malice intent…

  18. On The Side of Right says:

    Dr. Snipes is right to fight the suspension. And I am glad she rescinded her resignation. Clearly, the governor, who was a candidate in the election, is disgruntled and is retaliated against Snipes. Well, now he has to prove his charges in court. He has a fight on his hands and bravo to Commissioner Dale Holness and other elected officials for standing behind her. Mistakes were made. She had resigned. So what was the suspension supposed to do other than put a Scott crony in place for the 2020 elections.

  19. Sam The Sham says:

    Brenda, forget your pension. You are lucky you are not in jail.

  20. zigy says:

    count welcome back I, for one, missed your sometime erudite meanderings…..lol

  21. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Dont people READ BEFORE THEY COMMENT? THERE IS NO COURT CASE according to the article THERE IS A SENATE TRIAL.

    FROM BUDDY:

    Absolutely right, Count.

  22. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #21 so noted.Then im hearing today even though Dr.Snipes was suspended her pension is not in jeopardy.Which is it?.That was stated on 6pm news on channel 6..Will see..

  23. Sam The Sham says:

    Doesn’t she already have a pension of about a thousand years from the Skool Bored? Now, she wants to double dip for the crappy and likely criminal job she did as Stupivisor of Elections.

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