Sheriff Tony Lashes Out At Critic

BY BUDDY NEVINS

A mystery to many in Broward politics, Sheriff Gregory Tony tore a little of his mask away during an appearance this week. 

Sheriff Gregory Tony

His comments proved:

  1. He will fiercely defend himself against any criticism during the upcoming campaign, and, 
  2. He has a bit of a temper.  

Gordon Weekes was on the receiving end of that temper. It must be added that Weekes, a candidate for Broward Public Defender, picked the fight. He took on Tony during during an education forum in Fort Lauderdale’s black community. 

Tony was “new to the community” and he needed to support the school system’s Promise Program, Weekes charged.

What’s Promise?

It’s a controversial program for juvenile offenders.

If a student commits a minor crime like vandalism, Promise is designed to keep them out of jail and prevent them from having a permanent criminal record. Many have called Promise a success.  

But Promise has been under fire from some since it was found that the accused Parkland murderer had been in the program. In some comments to the media, Tony appeared lukewarm about Promise.

One of those who believes Promise has merit is Weekes. Yet that belief wasn’t enough. He made a tactical mistake among the crowd of educators, parents and community leaders when he began to chide the Sheriff about Promise.

It was a fight Weekes didn’t need.

Isn’t it taught in law school that you don’t pick a fight in court with somebody unless you are sure you can win? And this forum run by The Westside Gazette newspaper was essentially the court of public opinion…and Weekes lost.

Gordon Weekes

“Sheriff Tony, you’re new to this community,” Weekes said. 

One sentence and Tony was already bristling. 

 “We hope we do not destroy a program that has been successful…A program that could very well disappear if we don’t get the right support from our sheriff… 

“If we want to go back to a time when our courtrooms were filled with black and brown children. If we want to go back to a time when our children were not graduating from school. Just walk away from Promise,” Weeks finished. 

Tony immediately fired back.

 “The greatest myth that has been pushed out to this community is that I am new. I have been in this community 15 years on these streets (as a business owner and a Coral Springs Police officer),” Tony said.  

Then Tony threw out the line that immediately swayed the heavily-black audience to his side: 

“Yes, I’ve been sheriff for 10 months. I’ve been black for 40 years.”

From this point, his seven minutes or so of comments were accompanied by shouts of “come on” and “all right” from a few members of the audience. 

“I grew up in the inner city of North Philadelphia. In the bad lands.  Long before I had stars on my shoulder, I had a knee on my neck. So don’t lecture me. It’s not about just the Promise Program.”

He noted his job was to bring a fair law enforcement to all the people of Broward and there were many things as Sheriff he can do, like earmark more of his $1 billion budget to the minority community. 

Then Tony lamented that some black leaders were not working towards that goal. They were too busy attacking one another.

“Minorities finally make it to the top and they start tearing themselves apart. Gordon speaks passionately about these issues. But they are not just his issue. They are all of ours issues.” 

Take that, Mr. Weekes. 



17 Responses to “Sheriff Tony Lashes Out At Critic”

  1. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    I believe that the reason Scott Israel had so much support from the black community is his support for the Promise program. I believe Israel misused it to protect kids who didn’t deserve it. So he gave most a pass. The program needs an overhaul, as tragedy has shown, and I hope Sheriff Tony is the one to do it, if the Broward voters can get their thought processes functioning normally. That’s a lot to ask

  2. Chaz Stevens, Retired says:

    Mr. Sheriff;

    Allow me to sharpen your response.

    They are all of our issues, regardless of skin color.

  3. Sheila Alu says:

    I am not commenting to support either candidate running for Sheriff or Public Defender. I am only commenting on what I have seen change in the past year and a half since Sheriff Tony has been the Sheriff. For the first time in years, I am seeing cases submitted for prosecution to Felony Case Filing where I am assigned as an Assistant State Attorney for charges against students for possession of a weapon on school grounds and felony battery charges. I have also for the first time in years been seeing immigration holds for defendants who are here illegally who have committed violent felonies in our county.
    I do know that the City of Sunrise was one of only a few cities where the Chief of Police refused to sign onto the Promise Program because there was no law enforcement oversight. As a grandmother of a child in the school system and a candidate for the State Attorney, I want law enforcement to be apprised if a child brings a gun to school, is a potential danger to the community, or commits a felony on school grounds. I believe the program started with the best intentions for misdemeanor offenses, but in reality felony crimes were being committed without law enforcement and parents knowing.
    If the Promise Program continues it needs a lot of reform, and if Gordon Weeks wants to move this county forward toward practical and sensible justice reform he needs to work in a more cohesive manner with both Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office to facilitate positive change.

  4. Just Saying says:

    15 years on these streets? Puh-leeeze!!!! It’s certainly no myth that he’s new to the community. He’ll tell you himself he was retired from police work and living in South Carolina when he suddenly got the call. He was also a Republican. Not exactly in step with the experience of most black folks! He didn’t know anyone in Broward County outside of Coral Springs. But all these stories about being in a gang, bleeding on the streets… is any of this documented in his IA file or application from Coral Springs?

    Meanwhile he cleverly avoided actually answering the question or making any commitments about PROMISE!

  5. Broward Democrat says:

    The reason Scott Israel has support from the black community is because he had them all on his payroll! Don’t be naive or look too much into it, it’s that simple..

  6. Just the FACTS please says:

    Let’s get the facts accurately represented: first, Sheila Alu says “I have seen change in the past year and a half since Sheriff Tony has been the Sheriff”; FACT: Tony has been Sheriff for 9 months, not 18 months (year and a half) as Ms Alu represents. Using her timeline of year and half these increase case filing would have started under Isreal not Tony. Next, Sheila Alu says “Sunrise…Chief of Police refused to sign onto the Promise Program”; FACT: the “sign onto” was purely symbolic as it had no basis in authority or policy. The MSD Chairman Sheriff Guilterri stated Promise had nothing to do with MSD and was nothing more than a red herring summarily shutting down Promise being further considered by the MSD Commission. Promise was/is run exclusively by BCSD – PERIOD. Are there problems with Promise in its’ administration? IMHO YES. It needs to be fixed and tossed away. The energy to fix it must be directed toward the BCSD not law enforcement agencies as these agencies can only respond to crimes/incidents reported to their agency. Do any of us believe that Pinecrest involves the FLPD when a student is caught with possession of weed? Of course not, the invoke their private form of Promise – the Promise of continued tuition payments from the parents. Let’s all get our facts straight and then we will all agree a lot more often and in doing so be able to move our community forward.

  7. Broward Voter says:

    Everybody knows that Scott Israel was politically railroaded by the Trump political machine.

    The evidence clearly showed was suspended without cause. Scott Israel was vindicated by the Senate’s very own hand picked judge.

    All the rest to the story is political hackery, just as the Governor’s own lawyer said. He did a good job scoring points with the Senators that voted without cause to remove an elected sheriff.

    Scott Israel will be returned to office by Broward voters if only to remind our state that we here decide who the Sheriff will be in Broward County.

    Broward voters know that a vote for Greg Tony is a vote for Donald Trump and his despicable henchmen. For all these reasons Scott Israel will be returned to office.

  8. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Well it was a cheap shot from Weeks.What Sheriff Tony is not Black enough etc.Was that what Atty.Weeks was implying?.

    Regardless,what I think Tony should do is know where your support is.Answer is West broward.specefically target Parkland,Weston area etc.Court the school shooting victims families.Continue building support from these areas.Build that overwhelming support.

    Then when u build momentum u head into East Broward.This will be trying but achievable.Pound on the fact Israel was removed from office.Drill that into the residents.Debates.- The more the merrier.

    As far as southern Broward from Hollywood south open season.Meaning these residents could go either way.concentrate on these cities Crime rallies.Get your districts captains to have HOA guest speaking etc.These people vote- u need them.

    Israel has the Black vote in esp.Ft.Lau.This area will go for Israel don’t sweat it.U will make up the difference (votes) in the areas I outlined. What concerns me is with both Israel and Tony running as Democrats getting through the Primary is going to be the most difficult I would have liked to see Tony run as Independent.This way it guarantees u on the ballot come November.

    Lastly keep that uniform on.5 stars on the lapel,even better.That uniform Isaerl can.t where- u can.Showcase that BSO uniform..Good luck….

  9. LEO says:

    Sheriff Tony has more than a “bit if a temper.” Deputies say they’ve seen him yell at his top staff and is rude to his support staff because he is over his head and needs to blame somebody for his mistakes.

    FROM BUDDY:

    This comment would be called hearsay in a courtroom.

  10. Just the FACTS please says:

    Actually “LEO says” comments are dead-on accurate. They may be hearsay for him but I can confirm several first-hand experiences from the 5th floor that I’ve witnessed of the degrading fashion in which Tony screams at almost everyone (sworn/non-sworn and rank doesn’t matter) and almost as an everyday event. He does not lead from anything but intimidation. Simply a horrible leader that is well above his pay grade and swimming ability.

  11. Laughing in the Background says:

    Hearsay? Perhaps, but, the City of Tamarac saw it when they questioned him, as did everyone on the chambers.
    He’s been on the streets? PUHLEEZE!!!! Ask him who saved his ass, the first night that he was on the street as a sergeant. I believe that it was Ira Goldberg…who traveled some distance to respond to a 10-94. There were a LOT of LEO closer…but nobody responded. He remembered Captain Goldberg’s assistance…He FIRED him from BSO shortly after being appointed as sheriff. There is a reason that he is called Temporary Tony. Just watch.

  12. Ethical concerns says:

    Ask Tony about the rumors of stolen valor. I hear he claims he went to office candidate school ut when pressed by some deputies he declined to give any details about and what he did say made no sense.

  13. Shift gears says:

    Imagine the promise of a safer community if all minorities viewed themselves as part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

  14. Charles King says:

    Is this guy good or what? The Broward identity politics Dem establishment must be terrified at the prospect of a just man with the background to call them on their BS and the realization that their countywide elected Swamp Master Scott Israel isn’t coming back no matter how hard “The Books” huff and puff.

  15. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #14.Charlie King in a perfect world we r all u.

    After viewing the majority of the comments here this sheriff race should be non- partisan.Not only that in local gov’t the city manager controls the hiring and firing of this position.And that is how it should be.U have to back the shooting victims families.They don’t want Mr.Israel.Will they have enough of the majority to back Mr.Tony county wide remains to be seen.Tell u one thing these who’s who down here esp

    Area lobbyist and land use dev.atty will not orchestrate who are next sheriff will be.Its all up to the voters.

    Like I stated Tony needs to build support which he already has is Western Broward ( Parkland,Weston etc) then u move to Eastern Broward and north Broward Pompano and cities north.Ditto the other direction Dania south.Hearing about Tony yelling etc at staff- by all means quit then.

    Keep your cool Mr.Tony.Shine those shoes.Wear that uniform every chance u get.Debates are key.Bring out like beating a dead horse that Israel was removed from office.Run with that..

  16. Warrior says:

    Sheila Alu refused to reduce many simple marijuana possession cases. She railroaded marijuana users like it was 1967. Expect a turn back the clock attitude that made Satz look progressive if she is elected.

  17. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Sheriff Tony has picked up alot of buzz the last couple of weeks and esp.yesterday with his offical announcement that he is running.Now since u have such huge support with these shooting victims families start getting ready to use these victims families in ads(tv) to not only remember their loved ones but that they endorse u( let’s face it what they really support is they donnt want Scott Israel- same difference).Yes Tony is going to have to put these families center stage.U have to in under to defeat Isaerl.Buy your TV cable ads now to the Primary.Hire Judy Stern( oh she will get her cable commission).Israel and Stern had a falling out.Hire Stern.The more Israel and his camp hate Mrs.Stern,the better for u.Hire her …

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