Philadelphia Police Report Details Gregory Tony's Murder of Hector "Chino" Rodriguez
Case number H93-144 of the Philadelphia Police Department should have been part of a background investigation by Gov. Ron Desantis before he appointed Gregory Scott Tony sheriff of Broward County on January 11, 2019.
Had the governor’s office looked closer into Tony’s background, they would have read witness interviews that describe a teenage Tony systematically shooting another youth in cold blood. Unless we live in a society where laws are ignored, this would have been sufficient to prevent Tony’s appointment to serve as Broward’s top law enforcement officer. And had Tony not lied on previous police department applications, he never would have hired as a police officer anywhere.
It took a comprehensive Florida Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission (CJS&T) investigation to uncover the real truth about Gregory Tony’s past, and to produce as a result of a public records request to the Philadelphia Police Department the arrest report – H93-144.
When the details about the shooting surfaced several years ago from newspaper articles written at the time of the shooting by then 14-year-old Tony, Tony claimed that he shot 18-year-old Hector "Chino" Rodriguez in self-defense.
“The day of the incident, Hector, my brother and I were all in front of our house when we got into an argument. At one point, he pulled his gun threatening us, saying he didn’t have any issues with shooting us there,” Tony said in an interview with Florida Politics.
“I don’t remember the specific details, but I remember how scared I was when he chased me and my brother into our house, I ran to grab my father’s gun and fired it before Hector was able to shoot his gun. Both me and my brother left the house, as we were afraid his friends could retaliate. After ensuring there wasn’t an imminent threat for me and my brother, my dad took us both down to the police station, so we could give a statement of what had happened.”
Yet, witness statements taken by homicide investigators on the day of the shooting and detailed in H93-144 paint a different picture:
Tony and Rodriguez were friends
They were arguing in front of Tony's house
Rodriguez did not have a gun or any weapon
Tony ran into his house and was not chased inside by Rodriguez
Tony came outside of his house and shot Rodriguez six times
Gregory Tony lied. And he has continued to lie. It is who he is.
The police report succinctly summarizes what happened:
“On Monday, 5-3-93, 3:55 PM, 25th District Police responded to a R/C "SHOOTING & HOSPITAL CASE, 2828 N. HUTCHINSON St.
Upon their arrival they learned the victim had been taken to Episcopal Hospital by a private auto & was pronounced dead at Episcopal from multiple GSW's (gun shot wounds) to the head and body. The investigation revealed that the scene was in front of 2828 N. Hutchinson St. and the victim was shot by a Gregory Scott 14/B/M, residence, 2828 N. Hutchinson, during the course of an argument.”
On May 4, based on the witness statements taken by the officers, an assistant district attorney approved murder charges against Tony, and an arrest warrant was issued by the Philadelphia Police Department. That same day, Tony, accompanied by his father, turned himself in. The case went to court, Tony was tried as a juvenile, he was acquitted and the court records were sealed. There are no records of what transpired in the courtroom, or an explanation as to why he was acquitted.
Nonetheless, every police application that Tony has signed since becoming a law enforcement officer has asked whether he has ever been arrested as an adult or juvenile, and the reason for it. On all applications, Tony has denied being arrested – a violation of Florida law.
To follow is what the witnesses told investigators in 1993:
Statement of David Serrano:
When we had got there there was an argument going on between Greg and Hector. They was saying stuff back and forth. I think the argument started when some piper lady walked down the street and Hector had said to Greg, ''There goes your Momma.”
That's what I heard it [and] started over. When I had got there they was already arguing. It got to where Greg wanted to fight with Hector but Hector was telling GREG; that he was just a boy and he didn't fight boys and then Greg kept at it and finally Hector told Greg that he was putting him on his list. Greg was saying fine, put me on your list and stuff like that and then finally Hector just told Greg that he was gonna bust him and Greg said back to him something like yeah, go ahead and try and bust on me.
Then, all of a sudden, Greg ran into his house and he came back out in less than a minute and he had this gun and he just shot Hector. I heard at least 4 shots maybe 5 shots and everybody was like stunned by what had happened because they was friends.
Q: What did Hector do when Greg came out of his house with the gun?
A: Hector put his hands up like this (indicating his arms above his head with the palms facting forward, like a surrendering position.) Hector said, “if you’re going to shoot me, shoot me”. Then Greg just shot him.
Statement of Jonathan Berberna:
I had just come up to my uncle, Carlos Beaz, house across the street from my house and I was waiting for him to come home because he was going to take me to my Grandma's house. I had only been out there for a couple of minutes when I heard some arguing, I looked towards Hutchinson St., and I saw that it was my cousin, Hector and his friend, Greg , they was arguing with each other.
All I could hear was GREG saying, “I want it now, I want it now", and Hector was telling him, no you got to see who is responsible". Then Greg wanted to fight with Hector but Hector wouldn't fight him and then Greg ran into his house there, the one with the brown door that I showed you, (2828 N. Hutchinson St.), and in a couple of seconds he was coming out the front door again.
His pop tried to keep him from going back outside but he got past his pop and then I seen that he had a gun and he just started to shoot Hector. I heard 6 shots and I saw Hector start to fall down on the street and that's when I started to run to Hector's house and tell his mom.
While I was running I could hear Hector's pop yelling, "you didn't have to shoot him, you're best friends". By the time I got Hector' s mom and went back to where he was, Greg was gone I don't know where he went or where his father went.
Q: When you went back to where HHector was on the ground after he had been shot, did he ever say anything?
A: He couldn’t, every time he opened his mouth, blood just came out.
Q: Did you see any kind of weapon, a gun or a knife, in Hector’s hands today?
A: No, I never seen nothing in his hands.
Other witnesses that were interviewed corroborated the above statements.
Tony’s father, William Scott, told the police that he owned a .32 caliber Rossi revolver, chrome plated with brown handles, which he kept under his pillow or in a box. The house was searched by police and the gun was not found. Witnesses described seeing Tony with a chrome plated revolver with brown handles before and after he shot Hector. Another friend of Tony’s said he had been in Tony’s kitchen a month prior to the shooting where Tony had shown him the same gun.
Hector Rodriguez’s autopsy report also indicates six gunshot wounds:
Two in the upper back
One in the base of the skull
One in the left chest
One in the right chest
Although he was age 14 when he murdered Hector Rodriguez, that anger still festers in Gregory Tony. Recordings of him angrily berating deputies indicate that his temper is easily triggered, and he lacks self-control when engaged in high-pressure situations.
The question is: Why has Gov. Ron Desantis not removed Gregory Tony from office? He has removed elected officials in Broward County for lesser reasons, yet he has failed to use his authority to remove Tony. It is past time to do so.
Witnesses told Philadelphia police Gregory Tony wasn’t defending himself when he shot and killed friend execution-style
By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
September 17, 2022
Dozens of pages of newly released Philadelphia police records about the 1993 murder arrest of Gregory Scott Tony are casting fresh doubt on the Broward sheriff’s claim that he fired in “self-defense,” as a 14-year-old, when he shot and killed 18-year-old Hector “Chino” Rodriguez.
Tony was acquitted of Rodriguez’s May 3 murder and several related gun charges on Dec. 15, 1993, but all juvenile court records about the case have not been found and have apparently been destroyed.
However, Florida Bulldog has learned that witnesses who didn’t show up to testify at Tony’s trial figured into the acquittal decision.
By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
September 14, 2022
Florida’s ethics commission today found probable cause to believe Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony provided false information about himself to Gov. Ron DeSantis before the governor appointed him as sheriff in January 2019.
Specifically, Tony omitted mention of his “drug use history and an arrest for homicide,” the commission said.
Head of Miami FBI office Piro retires; bid-rigging probe of Broward Sheriff Tony returns to Miami
By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
JUNE 17, 2022
Miami FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro is retiring, after sources say he was shown the door by FBI headquarters in Washington following a complaint by a subordinate that Piro improperly transferred his office’s bid-rigging investigation of Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony to South Carolina.
Piro’s last day in the office is said to be today, June 17, but he will officially depart June 30. The 23-year FBI veteran was named special agent in charge in November 2018. He also served as head of the Miami officefrom 2014-2017. In between, he was assistant director of the International Operations Division at FBI headquarters.
Phone and email messages seeking comment from Piro and FBI spokesman Mike Leverock over two days were not returned. The FBI national press office did not respond to an emailed request for comment before publication.
One source said that at a meeting with his agents last year, Piro explained transferring the Tony investigation by making two points: that he was not going to be responsible for the arrest of Broward’s first black sheriff, and that such an arrest would ruin the FBI’s relationship with the sheriff’s office, with which it frequently works.
Florida commission to consider first step toward stripping Broward Sheriff Tony of his license to be a police officer
By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
JUNE 16, 2022
A panel of the Florida commission that oversees police to make sure they are competent and ethical will meet on Tuesday to decide whether there is probable cause to revoke Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony’s law enforcement certification.
f probable cause is found, the full Florida Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission (CJS&T) would consider Tony’s case in August. If Tony’s certification is yanked, he could no longer be a police officer anywhere in the state, which among other things means he would have no power to make an arrest.
Tony, however would remain as Broward’s sheriff because elected sheriffs are constitutional officers and are not required to be certified police officers. For example, former Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne was a civilian, not a sworn police officer.
Still, if Tony is decertified it would be politically embarrassing for Gov. Ron DeSantis, who appointed Tony, a former Coral Springs police sergeant, in January 2019 to replace Sheriff Scott Israel in the wake of the Parkland school massacre.
STATE OF FLORIDA:
GREGORY TONY LIED
Will Sheriff Gregory Tony face any penalty after investigation into his lies? What we know and don’t know
Gov. DeSantis on Sheriff Gregory Tony: ‘We’re going to review everything’ now that state found he concealed his past on forms
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL |
FEB 04, 2022 AT 6:26 PM
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he’ll decide whether to take any action against Sheriff Gregory Tony after a state investigation concluded Broward County’s top cop lied on numerous forms about his murder arrest and other key parts of his past.
The governor’s acknowledgement this week has called attention to the many outcomes that could take place in the coming days: The governor soon could act to suspend Tony from office. He could wait for a state ethics panel to recommend whether any discipline or penalty is warranted — and delegate that task to the ethics panel. Or he could decide to do nothing at all.
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL |
FEB 04, 2022 AT 6:26 PM
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony’s job could be on the line if a state ethics panel were to find evidence that the top cop concealed his murder arrest and other details from his past on documents to become certified as an officer.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed Tuesday that it will send the results of its investigation — which kicked off as sheriff’s candidates faced scrutiny during a fierce election campaign in 2020 — to the Florida Commission on Ethics. “We plan to send the case to the Ethics Commission this week,” said FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger.
State finds Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony lied about his murder arrest and much more. But he won’t be prosecuted.
By BRITTANY WALLMAN and LISA J. HURIASH
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL |
JAN 31, 2022 AT 4:56 PM
A state investigation into Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony’s lies on official applications is closed, and he will not be charged.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said some of the sheriff’s falsehoods were too long ago to prosecute, and the most recent allegation — that he lied to obtain a new driver’s license — will not be pursued because the clerk’s memory of the incident is fuzzy.
“Although it appears that Tony knowingly and willfully [misled] public servants in the performance of their official duties by making false statements in writing on his official applications (regarding his traffic citation, drug use, and arrest history) ... a criminal prosecution of these actions would be negated” by the Florida statute of limitations, a memo from FDLE agent Keith Riddick says.
FDLE criminal case against Broward Sheriff Tony removed from State Attorney Pryor’s office
State Attorney's Office in Fort Myers to take over FDLE's criminal case
By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
Using a confidential executive order, Gov. Ron DeSantis has transferred the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s criminal case against Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony to the State Attorney’s Office in Fort Myers.
The governor’s quiet decision over the summer to remove Tony’s case from the jurisdiction of Broward State Attorney Harold Pryor followed what sources said was Pryor’s reluctance to file felony and other charges against Tony as recommended by the FDLE.
The FDLE’s investigation began after Florida Bulldog reported in early May 2020 that Tony signed an FDLE affidavit the prior January declaring under oath that he never had a criminal record sealed or expunged. The story followed Bulldog’s report four days earlier disclosing that Tony shot and killed a man in 1993 when he was a 14-year-old living in a poor Philadelphia neighborhood.
By BRITTANY WALLMAN, LISA J. HURIASH and MEGAN O'MATZ
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL | MAR 30, 2021 AT 10:15 AM
Broward Sheriff Gregory Scott Tony overcame grim circumstances to rise from his youth in the crime-ridden Philadelphia Badlands neighborhood to one of Florida’s top law enforcement posts. But to get there, he didn’t tell the full truth.
Since the day he took office, Tony’s honesty has been in question. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been investigating for months whether he lied on law enforcement applications. FDLE’s bar for law enforcement is high when it comes to telling the truth. Even pleading “no contest” to a misdemeanor charge of perjury or false statement makes a person ineligible to be a police officer in Florida.
Sun-Sentinel Investigation: Lies and omissions helped propel Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony to the top
Recent information regarding Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony has prompted us to refer the following concerns and referrals made to us by Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) employees and local citizens. We are concerned about Mr. Tony’s mental well-being after witnessing and receiving reports of unstable behavior. His recent admission of witnessing two additional, undisclosed murders, compounded with reports from BSO employees and public observations of Tony’s irrational behavior, can no longer go unaddressed. As such, we are referring these allegations to authorities for immediate review and possible employee assistance intervention.
The best vote for Broward sheriff is no vote
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL |
OCT 03, 2020 AT 6:15 AM
Only in Nevada do American voters have the option to check “None of the Above.” If it were available on the ballot here, that is what we would recommend in the election for Broward County sheriff.
There is a next best alternative. By declining to vote in that one race, the people of Broward could send a powerful message to county leaders and the Florida Legislature. When it comes to filling the county’s most important office, the election process has failed.
We cannot endorse any of the three people on the ballot. That is a rare position for us, and we do not come to it lightly.
We know some readers will be disappointed, and others appalled, by our decision. But the time has come for Broward County to face the painful truth that the system of electing Broward’s chief law enforcement officer is irretrievably broken. It has been made so by the governor’s hasty appointment of incumbent Gregory Tony, the inexorable dominance of one political party, the distorting effects of lavish campaign spending, the lack of a runoff primary and the absence of any minimum requirements for an extremely demanding job.
The Corrupt Sheriff
Gregory Tony: Lied About Past Arrests
New Court Records Show Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony Failed To Disclose 1992 and 1994 Legal Incidents As Juvenile Resulting In Adult Probation
Records obtained by REDBROWARD appear to show Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony never disclosed being placed on adult probation for acts committed when he was a juvenile. In May, published reports revealed Sheriff Tony failed to disclose his 1993 arrest for shooting and killing a neighborhood friend. The disclosure finally forced Tony to admit the arrest he kept hidden from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and numerous law enforcement agencies. Tony said he was a fourteen year old living in Philadelphia acting in “clear self-defense.”
Tony: Hyped Building A Training Center
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony, in the gold-plated hard hat, center back, joins in a round table salute with gold-painted shovels to members of his training center groundbreaking committee, command staff and design team last December.
BSO spent thousands in election year to hype ‘groundbreaking’ for training center; 9 months later inertia & an empty lot
By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
One month after filing for election late last year, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony staged an elaborate groundbreaking ceremony for what he said would be BSO’s new training center adjacent to the sheriff’s Fort Lauderdale headquarters. Nine months later, work on the $34-million project has yet to begin, and Tony’s being sued by an electrical contractor who says the sheriff stiffed him for tens of thousands of dollars in work preparing for the groundbreaking.
Sheriff Tony’s PAC nets 10K from employee of company that got $750K BSO bleed kits contract
By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
JUNE 30, 2020
Two weeks after the Broward Sheriff’s Office paid South Carolina’s North American Rescue LLC as much as $750,000 last year to buy bleeding-control kits, the company’s founder and CEO contributed $5,000 to Sheriff Gregory Tony’s political action committee (PAC).
Eleven days ago, Tony’s PAC reported that it received a $10,000 contribution from a South Carolina woman – Noreen Ling – who identified herself as “unemployed.” Some checking, however, revealed that Ling is, in fact, employed by North American Rescue.
Florida Bulldog made contact with Ling, 41, via her company email and spoke with her by phone on Saturday. Ling acknowledged the contribution, confirmed she works for North American and said she knew Tony from when he worked for North American several years ago. She politely broke off the conversation before she could be asked about why she had failed to disclose the name of her employer, and did not respond to further requests for comment.
BSO deputies’ union: Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony should be shown ‘the door’
By JEFF BELL
SPECIAL TO THE SUN SENTINEL | JUL 29, 2020
On Jan. 11, 2019, Broward County witnessed a controversial decision by Gov. Ron DeSantis to remove Scott Israel as sheriff and replace him with Gregory Tony. Right or wrong, this particular appointment highlights the need for more thorough background checks on all nominees for appointment by a governor.
It is clear that the governor’s trust was abused by those who lobbied for Tony to replace Israel as sheriff. In fact, Marjory Stoneman Douglas family members were fooled by Tony’s omissions of past crimes, past felony drug use, traffic violations, lack of qualifications and more, just like the police department where Tony had previously applied for employment.
IS TONY TRUTHFUL? HOW CAN WE KNOW?
Sun-Sentinel: Sheriff Gregory Tony concealed his past, and even a lie detector didn’t catch it, records show
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL | MAY 28, 2020
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony lied several times to get his first job as a police officer and then passed a lie-detector test despite saying his answers were true, newly released records show.
Coral Springs police made Tony fill out a questionnaire and undergo a voice stress test in 2005. He answered “no” to several questions that would have revealed that he had once killed a man, according to police records released Thursday.
ACLU Files Federal Lawsuit Against Tony
By MARIO ARIZA
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL | JUN 05, 2020
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Broward Sheriff’s Office, charging that conditions inside the county’s four jails unconstitutionally put inmates at risk of infection and death from the new coronavirus.
The lawsuit alleges that the jails lack basic sanitation, screening and social distancing for inmates. It wants the release of vulnerable inmates and urges the federal judiciary to require broader testing and improved sanitation and housing.
“The jail conditions put the prisoners at an unreasonable and unnecessary risk of serious illness, long-term damage to their health or even death if they get the virus,” says Anjana Samant, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project who was involved in the drafting of the suit.
UNION ASKS GOVERNOR TO REMOVE TONY
As the President of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, Local I.U.P.A 6020, I am writing on a matter of great importance. On January 11th 2019, you appointed Gregory Tony as Sheriff of Broward County. This Union gave your administration our word that we would support Gregory Tony as Sheriff when you removed former Sheriff Scott Israel.
In the past month, there have been numerous revelations about the character and sworn statements made by Gregory Tony that not only would have prevented him from being appointed sheriff, but would have prevented him from ever being a law enforcement for any agency in the state of Florida.
A FAILURE TO LEAD
Sun Sentinel: 911 dispatchers left at the mercy of coronavirus as agency’s response faltered
Nikima Thompson, 41, died on May 4. and was one of the BSO's 44 dispatchers who tested positive for Covid-19.
By MEGAN O'MATZ and BRITTANY WALLMAN
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL | JUN 03, 2020
“Your safety is our top priority,” a boss reassured employees in the crowded confines of Broward County’s three 911 centers in mid-March. She assured them the agency’s chief concern was protecting them from getting sick.
But the Sheriff’s Office also had another priority: keeping dispatchers working. And in two months’ time, 44 of them would contract COVID-19. One of them, a mother of four, would die.
Nikima Thompson was only 41.
An internal trove of emails obtained by the South Florida Sun Sentinel shows just how unprepared and unsure Sheriff’s Office leaders were in confronting the extreme danger the coronavirus posed to its emergency dispatch operators, who had no choice but to report to work. Their anguish and fear — as colleague after colleague tested positive — are evident throughout the messages.
NO ETHICAL BOUNDARIES
While a Coral Springs cop, Sheriff Tony used city email to obtain records, build his private training business
By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
In his final year as a police sergeant in Coral Springs in 2016, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony used his city email account to forward various law enforcement records, including a sensitive FBI report, to himself at his private safety training business.
Likewise, Tony sent numerous emails from his city email box looking to drum up business for both his company, Blue Spear Solutions, and North American Rescue, the South Carolina “casualty care” company where Tony would soon goto work as a salaried executive. Florida Bulldog previously reported that after Gov. Ron DeSantis named Tony as sheriff last year, the Broward Sheriff’s Office paid North American as much as $750,000 for bleeding control kits.
Tony also sent other law enforcement information to North American using his official email.
Those findings and others emerged from Florida Bulldog’s review of more than 8,500 pages of emails sent or received at then-Sgt. Tony’s Coral Springs email account in 2016. The city released the records in response to a public records request.
TONY ADMITTED TAKING LSD
ON ONE POLICE APPLICATION, BUT NOT ON ANOTHER
SUN-SENTINEL • MAY 20, 2020
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony was rejected for a police job in 2004 after admitting he used LSD one time, but he concealed the drug use after that.
After Tallahassee police rejected him for the job, he didn’t disclose his LSD use when he applied to Coral Springs police the next year. His application forms asked him to reveal whether he’d used hallucinogens or ever handled that type of drug in some way. He replied, “no.”
Tony Gave Five BSO Employees Raises, Then They Worked for No Pay at Blue Spear - a Training Company Started By the Sheriff and Now Owned by His Wife
Tony was sworn in on January 11, 2019, while his wife, Holly, stands behind him.
By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
Since taking office 16 months ago, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony has promoted and/or given tidy raises to five BSO employees who moonlight for Blue Spear Solutions, the company founded by Tony and now run by his wife.
For example, BSO payroll records obtained by Florida Bulldog show that Blue Spear instructor Heath Clark’s BSO annual salary jumped nearly $50,000 thanks to the sheriff’s largesse.
Clark, a captain in BSO’s Fire Rescue Department, got his first salary bump under Tony – a $4,600 merit raise – a month after Tony took over as sheriff in January 2019. But a much bigger increase arrived on Jan. 18, 2020 when Tony promoted Clark to Chief of Fire Rescue’s training division – skipping over the rank of Battalion Chief.
Florida Bulldog: BSO spent big on bleed control kits from sheriff’s ex-company, then his PAC got $5,000 contribution from kit vendor
By Dan Christensen,
MAY 11, 2020 - The Broward Sheriff’s Office has paid out as much as $750,000 to buy bleeding control kits from a South Carolina company that Sheriff Gregory Tony did business with before he became sheriff, and where he worked as an executive for more than a year.
Last July, two weeks after BSO issued a purchase order for the kits, the CEO and founder of winning bidder North American Rescue LLC funneled $5,000 to Tony’s political action committee.
State starts investigating Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony’s paperwork
Sun-Sentinel: Florida’s top law enforcement agency on Friday (05-08-2020) said it has started a preliminary investigation into Sheriff Gregory Tony. The FDLE said Wednesday it was reviewing a complaint, but hadn’t opened an investigation. But that changed Friday, when the agency said the matter has been moved up into a preliminary investigation.
AT AGE 14
GREGORY TONY KILLED A MAN
Tony probably violated Florida law by not disclosing that he shot to death another human being on his Coral Springs Police Department employment application.
Tony claims self defense having shot the man five times: once in the stomach and four times in the head.
Tony says that the man was in his father's house, but newspaper accounts at the time have the man shot near the curb of a street in front of the house. Even his father's recollection has the shooting occurring outside.
Coral Springs' former police chief said he would not have hired Tony if he had known about the shooting.
State to review complaints about Tony falsify answering questions on FDLE application in January 2020.
So-called ‘attacks’ on Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony are not about race. It’s about the facts. | Opinion - Sun-Sentinel 05-06-20
BY ALAN B. JACKSON
As an African-American man, I have experienced racism in my life on many occasions. And so I know what racism looks like and what it smells like. The recent revelations about Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony are not racial, but they are political. But guess what, that’s politics. I understand politics and the tricks of politics because I ran for county commissioner in 2004 and in 2008.
When a heavyweight boxer steps into the ring to fight, it would be crazy for him to think that he’s not going to get punched. And, if he didn’t want to be punched, he should never have gotten into the ring to fight.
The moment Tony accepted the appointment to be sheriff, he stepped into the ring of politics. So how dare he and his supporters complain and cry about being attacked politically. And it’s offensive to me, as an African-American man, that some of his backers would play the race card when there is no trace of the attacks against him being racist.
How could it possibly be racist when a white governor appointed him and he was almost entirely surrounded by white people at his swearing-in press conference in January 2019.
After all, Gov. Ron DeSantis was playing politics from the very start when he appointed an African-American man because he was aware of the African-American support that former Sheriff Scott Israel had, particularly among African-American pastors. And so the governor played the old divide and conquer trick with the African-American community by appointing Tony.
Now African-Americans are divided in their vote because Tony is black. No one had ever heard of Tony before. You know why? Because he was living his life in Boca Raton not thinking about Broward County or the black community. Not to mention the fact that he changed his political party from Republican to Democrat the day after he was appointed. Why did he change his party? Politics. That’s why.
Where is Tony’s record of supporting the cause and candidates of the Democratic party? Tony and his handlers knew he didn’t stand a chance of winning in a Democrat-dominated Broward County, so he changed his political party. It sounds like politics to me.
Tony complains about politics and says that politics ruined the Broward Sheriff’s Office and he’s there to clean it up. Well, if Tony was anti-politics, why is he flooding the mailboxes of super voters with targeted mailers with his name and picture on them at least twice a month with information that our county mayor, the governor and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are already giving us about COVID-19?
I think it’s important to put color, personal agendas and emotions aside and look at the facts:
In applying to become a Coral Springs police officer, Tony withheld the fact that he had written bad checks when he attended Florida State University He later wrote a letter apologizing after it was detected. That wasn’t racism. That was Tony hiding the truth.
As a Coral Springs police officer, Tony said he wrote policies and procedures that saved lives. But the Coral Springs police chief said Tony never wrote any policies or procedures. That’s not racism. That’s Tony lying and being deceptive. The chief told the Sun Sentinel “if he knew the things he knows now he would have never hired Tony”.
At a Sheriff’s candidates forum in Coconut Creek earlier this year that I attended, he told the audience that he held the title of commander when he worked at the Coral Springs police department. The police department later refuted Tony’s claims, saying no such position existed.
There is a clear pattern here and it has nothing to do with racism.
As to the murder charges filed against Tony 27 years ago when he was a 14-year-old growing up in North Philadelphia, let’s look at the facts. The Florida Bulldog, which first published the story, reported that there were conflicting accounts of the shooting incident involving an 18-year-old neighbor.
The victim’s girlfriend told the Florida Bulldog that her then-boyfriend was unarmed and that the shooting was prompted by an argument. Tony said he shot the victim in self-defense. He was originally charged as an adult, but prosecutors later moved the case to juvenile court, where he was found not guilty, the Bulldog reported. Yet, Tony never revealed the incident on his law enforcement job applications.
Fast forward to today. We have witnessed firsthand Tony losing his temper as sheriff.
We saw it when he argued with city commissioners last year at a city of Tamarac commission meeting. We saw his bad temper on display again at his April 7 press conference when he announced the suspension of the BSO deputies union president. And his temper and anger were caught on videotape last month when he screamed at deputies outside the hospital where BSO Deputy Shannon Bennett died.
Let’s focus on facts and not forget the fact that Tony lied and deceived his way into becoming a police officer from the start. So are we telling black and brown kids that it’s OK to lie and deceive their way in life to make it?
As an African-American man and as an African-American pastor, I think calling what’s happening to Tony to be racist is a slap in the face to all African-Americans.
Allen B. Jackson is senior pastor of Ark Restoration Church International in Tamarac.
This website provides documented information that refutes, point by point, inaccurate statements by Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony.
On April 16, 2020, in an open letter to BSO deputies, Sheriff Tony made a number of claims. Most of them are false; and a few are a twist of the facts.
By using BSO's public records and other information, Sheriff Tony's statements are refuted point by point below.
500 years combined experience
and 400 people promoted
STATEMENT BY TONY:
Since arriving in January of 2019, we have increased training for all deputies, provided rifles, and new vests and granted the highest pay raise in 25 years. For the first time in many administrations, the command staff is made up of veteran BSO leaders who have served this agency for a combined total of more than 500 years.
And, because we are promoting from within, I have overseen 400 promotions of BSO
deputies, fire rescue personnel and civilians since arriving. This promotion count does
not include cadets.
288 years combined experience
and 189 people promoted
In February, Tony stated he had 200 years of combined service on his command staff, on Sunday Feb. 2, 2020, on NBC 6 Tony stated to Jackie Nespral, “Under my command, (BSO) for the first time has over 200 years of institutional knowledge and that success might continue.” This blatantly false statement was repeated at other forums and news conferences.
In fact, Tony has 13 ranking people in his command staff, if they had 500 years of service, they would each have to have about 40 years in police work at BSO. Instead, they have 288 years of combined service which is less than what the previous administration had. (EXHIBIT #1).
Regarding the promotions, through a BSO public records request, it was learned that Gregory Tony was counting fire, police and correction cadets graduating the academy. There were actually 196 promotions within DLE, DOD and fire since he took office, not 400. The promotion list provided through a public records request shows 189 DLE and fire cadets as promotions. (EXHIBIT #2)
BSO is a leader in
active shooter training
STATEMENT BY TONY:
We (BSO) are now among the top agencies with respect to active shooter response training in the country.
FBI Leader: There is no such ranking
According to the former chief of the FBI Active Shooter Division in Washington, D.C., there is no known list that exists anywhere in the nation that ranks law enforcement agencies in active shooter training and response. He stated that as horrific as these events are, they are so uncommon and almost every event is a different scenario, that it would be impossible to rank agencies.
He stated that it is known that some agencies are better equipped than others, but there are no rankings and to make such a statement would be a false statement. The only conclusion to draw from this is that the active shooter training designation has been claimed by Tony for himself.
Claimed credit for the BSO RTCC
STATEMENT BY TONY:
We have instituted Incident command and the Office of Emergency Management. The BSO Real Time Crime Center has been built from a handful of personnel to a state-of-the-art operation.
The RTCC was already planned
This is a misleading statement. According to BSO's website, the The RTCC has been in operation since January 2019 and was budgeted for enhancements in 2019. Tony was appointed to the office on January 11, 2019. The facility was planned and under development prior to Tony's arrival.
STATEMENT BY TONY:
We have broken ground on a much-needed training center to provide the top training
opportunities to each of our first responders.
On June 11, 2019, Gregory Tony’s Press release titled "His First 100 Days in Office" stating:
Initiated plans and developed comprehensive architecture designs for the
development of a $30 million-dollar state of the art regional training center, which will
provide the necessary level of training to address today’s public safety challenges.
Initiated plans for BSO training center
Sped up groundbreaking for politics
and wasted taxpayer dollars
Tony orchestrated this groundbreaking to coincide with a political agenda. The attached exhibit details that he held this groundbreaking ceremony without architectural plans.
The ground breaking occurred two months before he issued a request for proposal for the design/build contract.
A public records request revealed that Tony spent approximately $8,000 in taxpayer money to buy himself a gold construction helmet, and gold painted shovels for his command staff, dignitaries and some of the Parkland parents. He also paid $1,800 for tumblers to commemorate the ground breaking event.
The former sheriff's administration started the training center in 2018. Major Apel came up with the idea.
On December 19, 2019, Gregory Tony held the training center groundbreaking which was attended by command staff, Parkland parents, politicians and media. There was fencing in the BSO Public Safety Building parking lot that eliminated 77 parking spots, with no alternative parking set up for the employees. A dirt mound was dumped on the ground to simulate the groundbreaking.
EMPLOYEES CANNOT PARK: WHY?
About February 11, the unions started receiving complaints that there was no place to park at the BSO Public Safety Building because of the dirt mound. Employees also found it odd that more than two months after the ground breaking there was no construction, no marking off or surveying of land, no posting of construction permits.
The city of Fort Lauderdale's building department was contacted and it was learned that there were open permits for the Public Safety Building from 2007 and 2016 for electrical, windows and doors, alterations and sprinklers. There were no permits for new construction.
In fact, the request for proposals (RFP) for the design and build of the training center were completed on January 16, 2020, and were issued by BSO on February 4, 2020.
The estimated budget for the project has also increased to $34 million from $30 million, according to BSO's response to questions from bidders. Five companies have submitted bids for the design/build project: The Weitz Company, LLC, Kaufman Lynn Construction, KVC Constructors, Inc., Moss & Associates, LLC, and ANF Group, Inc.
PPE was purchased to enhance
current inventory; prepare for virus
STATEMENT BY TONY:
We began purchasing additional PPE to enhance current inventory and in preparation of greater need. Fire Rescue played a critical role marshaling our assets at the beginning of the pandemic. We took advantage of the resourcefulness of our Fire Rescue Division and they produced the hand sanitizer that was distributed agency wide.
You will recall that in late February, Fire Rescue made themselves available to meet with you (BSO deputies) and provide PPE at any call that dispatch determined could involve a COVID-19 exposure. This was to assure that BSO maintained an adequate supply of PPE to continue delivering on our core mission, public safety, as we awaited shipments. Today, Fire Rescue still meets with any deputy who requests additional PPE in the areas that both services.
Too few masks and too late
There is currently no action plan at BSO for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, or any other type of wide-spread civil or social disruption that could jeopardize the lives of BSO employees and the public.
Specifically, in response to the shortage of PPE gear for employees, BSO ordered a tranche of masks, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, kitchen aprons, eye masks and face shield from 41 companies, with 98 percent of the expenditures for PPE gear occurring from March 1 to the present.
It was only on March 7, that the current sheriff announced that precautions were being taken. There was no pro-active effort prior to that time to gear-up for the pandemic.
The above announcement on April 16, 2020, was the first time it has ever been mentioned that Fire Rescue was distributing PPE products.
Contact was made this same date to verify the information with members of the BSO Fire Rescue Department, who, in fear of retaliation, will not identify themselves.
Personnel in the BSO Fire Rescue Department stated this was not true. We were told they were never directed to distribute hand sanitizers to deputies or BSO employees, and there were no directives issued telling them to deliver PPEs to road deputies.
They stated that they carried two extra masks on each fire truck and if they met with a deputy that needed one, they would provide it. They stated that if checked, there will be no emails, directives or procedures to the firefighters in the field concerning the above false claims made by Tony.
On March 18, 2020, Tony had 300 3M N-95 masks delivered to 15 districts for the 1,596 deputies. Every district received approximately 10 percent of their allotment. (See Exhibit #4).
On March 20, 2020, after delivery of the small number of masks, Tony stated to the news media that all of his deputies are equipped with PPE equipment
On March 21, 2020, Tony distributed a press release that provided false and misleading information to the general public and the media: “BSO remains fully
prepared to provide the highest level of service to all Broward residents and visitors. Here are some important things you should know – Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for BSO: BSO currently has enough PPE to do our job.”
On March 24, 2020, Tony appeared before the Broward County Commission and stated: “Overall, from an operating standpoint from within the organization, we have not slowed in any form or fashion in terms of performance indexing for public safety. We have not had any hiccups relating to equipment, logistics to safeguard our employees or this public. We transferred all these indicators into formalized documents and tracking everything through our Emergency Operations Center and the agency is prepared.”
At this point the deputies still only had the 300 masks that were delivered on March 18, no gloves, or PPE kits.
On March 26, 2020, Tony appeared in a live town hall meeting and was asked: “How are you keeping your deputies safe from getting the virus?”
Tony responded: “The way we protect them is to ensure that they are supplied with the Personal Protection Equipment such as gloves, N95 masks and gowns. So, what we continued to do over the last few weeks was to increase the inventory we had so we can continue to supply, every single, aspect of our first responders."
On March 29, 2020, under Tony’s direction, PPE kits started to arrive at district
stations, but only enough to give a maximum of 25 kits per district. These first kits
arrived 14 days after the unions wrote to Tony and advised him that there was no protective equipment at the districts a week after telling the County Commission
that the deputies were fully prepared. Like the masks, he only delivered
approximately 30 kits to each district.
As of April 27, no other items were delivered, and the Fire Department had not delivered any items as Tony is now alleging.
STATEMENT BY TONY:
Since that time, we have been delivering PPE weekly to the districts as well as the
Department of Detention, Fire Rescue, and our civilians. We have encumbered and
spent more than $1.3 million to date to secure the PPE deemed necessary for the long
haul. And we will spend what it takes to keep you safe. Safety teams are visiting every
district regularly to ensure that supplies are making it to each of you and to address any questions or concerns you may have.
This week deputies are receiving a PPE kit consisting of gloves, protective eyewear
(glasses), shoe coverings, and bio-chem suits to be used on calls that have significant
risk of COVID-19 exposure. Again, Fire Rescue has played a critical role in securing and
producing these new PPE kits.
Delivering PPE weekly to districts
Deputies were never fully equipped
This is a false statement by Tony and was verified from letters sent to the sheriff by unions that were made public. (See Exhibit #5)
Tony stated that in January he saw this pandemic was coming and BSO was fully stocked and prepared,
He also stated in mid-March that the deputies were fully equipped and prepared.
On April 16, 2020, two-plus months into the pandemic, he is said: "this coming week you will get PPE kits."
Which was it, were they fully stocked in January or are they getting the first PPE kits the following week?
Fully disclosed background when
applying to Coral Springs PD
STATEMENT BY TONY:
On a more personal note, the allegations made against me in the call for a vote of no
confidence were simply not true. Let me share with you a few.
TONY CLAIMS THIS IS FALSE - Greg Tony lied on his original job application to the Coral Springs Police Department, stating on that application that he had never been arrested and had not received moving citations in the recent past.
TONY'S RESPONSE - When I applied to Coral Springs Police Department, I completed my FDLE application and included all appropriate disclosures, (see 11/14/2005 FDLE Background report).
Left out important information
Tony submitted a FDLE CJSTC form 77 as his proof he did not fail to disclose his arrest and traffic citation. This form is not signed by Tony. It is signed by the background investigator.
This is the form that the background investigator sent to FDLE advising them that they had completed the background investigation. On June 15, 2005, Tony submitted his application for police trainee to CSPD, which was sworn to that it contained no
misrepresentations, falsifications, omissions or concealment of material fact.
Application Page 6 – List all moving violations you had in the past 7 years, Tony stated “NO” to that answer. (Two years earlier in 2003 he was cited in Leon County for Failure to Obey a Traffic Signal and he attended traffic school) (Exhibit # 6)
Application Page 6 – Have you ever been arrested, Tony stated “NO” to that answer. (Three years earlier in 2002 Tony was criminally charged in Leon County with Uttering a Fraud/Insufficient Funds Check) (Exhibit # 6)
On June 27, 2005 Tony submitted a second application for employment to CSPD,
which was sworn to that it contained no misrepresentations, falsifications,
omissions or concealment of material fact.
Application Page 13 – Have you ever been arrested, charged, received a notice or summons to appear for any criminal violation? Tony checked the “NO” box to that answer. (Three years earlier in 2002 Tony was criminally charged in Leon County with Uttering a Fraud/Insufficient Funds Check) (Exhibit # 6))
Application Page 14 – Have you ever received a Traffic Citation? He checked the “YES” box to that answer and wrote in Pennsylvania in 1996. He failed to disclose the moving citation he received two years earlier in Leon County (Exhibit # 6).
Note: To further show that Tony is not being truthful, there is a letter in his personnel file authored by Tony to then police Chief Duncan Foster titled Bad Check, failure to list information. The letter starts off “I am writing this letter in hopes to provide clarity about the recent findings in my background
investigation.”(Exhibit # 6))
Gun firing incident acknowledged a
prudent and heroic act
STATEMENT BY TONY:
TONY CLAIMS THIS IS FALSE - Coral Springs Police Sergeant Greg Tony displayed questionable judgment when he recklessly fired his gun.
TONY'S RESPONSE - I received the Meritorious Police Duty Commendation for the incident, acknowledging a prudent and heroic act where a hazard, risk of injury, or death to the nominee or other existed. (see 11/30/2015 Meritorious Police Duty Commendation Case#15-1662).
Not good police practices
Just because Tony received a departmental commendation, doesn’t mean it was
good police practices. When he shot out the window, he never advised the back-up officers. The K-9, advised in his report, he heard a shot, saw the back window shattered and went in to assist Tony. That coupled with shooting into a window without knowledge if anyone was on the other side of that window is not in line with best police practices or not, regardless of a commendation or not.
Held the rank of 'commander'
TONY CLAIMS THIS IS FALSE - Greg Tony completely fabricated his having held the rank of “commander” at Coral Springs. A Coral Springs response to a Public Records request revealed that untruthfulness.
TONY'S RESPONSE - I was selected to serve as the field force commander in 2016.
Never held the rank of commander
On, February 9, 2020, Tony appeared on the Tangela Burns Sears radio show,
and while talking about his career at Coral Springs PD, Tony stated that he was
the “first field force and riot commander.”
Based on that a public records request was submitted to the City of Coral Springs PD, they responded on March 4, 2020, and stated:
“Gregory Tony never held the rank of Commander relative to any unit or assignment he held in our department.” (Exhibit #7)
Currently an adjunct college professor
STATEMENT BY TONY:
TONY CLAIMS THIS IS FALSE - Greg Tony appears to have fabricated his status as an adjunct criminal justice professor at Strayer and Phoenix universities, as a request for records to those institutions shows he IS NOT an adjunct criminal justice professor.
TONY'S RESPONSE - I served as an Adjunct Criminal Justice Professor at both Strayer College and Phoenix University (see W-2 statements from both).
Tony does not currently serve as
an adjunct college professor
The W2 from Strayer College for 2012 and a second W2 was from University of Phoenix from 2009 .
On the Florida Sheriff’s Association website, Tony says “he is an adjunct professor at Strayer College from 2009 to present”, and “an adjunct professor at University of Phoenix from 2010-present.”
On his BSO web site he stated, “I have worked as an adjunct professor for eight years,” and on his Blue Spear Solutions website he states as part of his credentials that “he is an adjunct criminal justice professor for eight years.”
The Phoenix University and Strayer College registrars have no record of Gregory Tony as any kind of professor for the schools. Also, all of the schools' professors, adjunct or otherwise, are listed on their websites. He is not listed. Tony's 2018 financial disclosure form does not show any income from either university or any other educational institution. The Rate Your Professor website does not currently nor has it in the past rated Gregory Tony.
All of these statements are false as indicated in (Exhibit #8)
Developed active-shooter training
and policies at Coral Springs PD
TONY CLAIMS THIS IS FALSE - Greg Tony completely fabricated claims to have been the creator of policies at the Coral Springs Police Department that lead to 14 additional lives being saved at MSD. A response from Coral Springs to a Public Records request advised that Greg Tony had no involvement with any policies that were implemented during the MSD tragedy.
TONY'S RESPONSE - I developed training and policy in regard to active shooter training while at CSPD (see 11/30/2015 Administrative Service Commendation for Active Shooter Research).
Attended a 4-day training class
In fact, the commendation he received is an administrative commendation not
operational. He was being commended from the chief for sharing things that he
learned from attending a four-day active shooter school. At the time, Tony was doing threat assessments for businesses in Coral Springs. If he is commended for an initiative that will save the city money, it’s not operational.
Tony has stated that his policies and procedures saved 14 lives. No where in the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Commission Report is there anything to validate this claim.
This isn’t the only time Tony has told this lie.
During a forum in the City of Tamarac, Tony stated: “Training is why I am here today. Because I wrote the active shooter protocols years in advance, as a nationally certified active shooter on this panel or any other sheriff's out here running. I have designed those protocols years in advance training our officers on the necessary entry tactics, provided them with the necessary tools, and I was awarded the department commendation before Stoneman Douglas shooting. And this is why when Coral Springs responded they saved 14 lives versus allowing 17 to die. And that’s how I got the call from the governor.”
And again on the Brian Mudd show in November 2019, Tony stated: “You know I didn’t just take an interest in active shooter preparedness, I was part of all the design
aspects that happened in Coral Springs, I was awarded commendations for putting together these platforms that helped save 14 of the lives in the school so that was part of why the families supported me early on, months before I was the sheriff.”
This is a statement he has repeatedly made at the last few forums and TV appearances.
CORAL SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT REFUTES TONY'S ACTIVE SHOOTER POLICY AND TRAINING CLAIMS
A public information request was sent to Coral Springs PD to get their take on Tony’s claims, and they responded as follows: “Please see our current General Order related to Active Shooter and our SWAT SOP both published in 2016. The Chief of police is the issuing authority for General Orders and the respective Deputy Chiefs for an SOP. Any employee may add input into a draft of the directive. For these directives, Accreditation Coordinator/Office of Professional Standard did not seek out input from then Sgt. Tony.
"For this General Order revision, Accreditation Coordinator/Office of Professional Standards worked with Officer Glenn Roberts, and EM Liaison, Sergeant Carla Kmiotek, Training Unit to submit a draft to the chain of command. Accreditation Coordinator/Office of Professional Standard does not have any knowledge if anyone involved in the review process sought his input.” (Exhibit #9)
15 years in law enforcement
STATEMENT BY TONY:
TONY CLAIMS THIS IS FALSE - Gregory Tony had only 10 years and 10 months law enforcement experience when he was appointed Sheriff; not the 15 years he stated he had on the Jim Defede show. (And 2 full years were in a probationary status; one year as a brand-new officer, and one year as a brand-new sergeant).
TONY'S RESPONSE -I have worked with law enforcement for over 15 years.
12 years in law enforcement
Actually when he first appeared on the Jim Defede show after his appointment to
Sheriff, he stated “I’ve been in law enforcement collectively over 15 years” a
statement he has made on multiple occasions for the sole purpose of enhancing
This is a blatantly false statement, however, he knows it’s false because now instead of saying “in law enforcement” now in this press release he is saying “with law enforcement” which can virtually mean anything.
However, we deal in facts not semantics. A public records request was sent to FDLE for a copy of Tony’s Global ATMS report which details all police service, FDLE responded that his only law enforcement Employment began with Coral Springs PD on 11/08/2005 and ended on 09/29/2016 – 10 years and 10 months with no other law enforcement employments or experience.
It’s possible that Tony is trying to imply that his employment as a clerk with DHSMV and his temporary six-month employment as a GED instructor at a correctional facility is somehow law enforcement related, which it is not. (Exhibit #10)
Will not use BSO or taxpayer dollars
to promote himself
On May 14, 2019, during a budget workshop with the Broward Commissioners, Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony stated, “I will not waste one penny on campaigning my name or one penny on promoting myself. I will promote myself in this organization on performance and performance alone.”
Tony has spent $115,387 of BSO funds
on self-promotion flyers to voters
Sheriff Tony has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for flyers and postage to
Broward voters. For example, in July 2019, Gregory Tony had BSO create and print 50,000 copies of a six-page brochure titled: Sheriff Tony’s Initiatives at cost of $17,000. It was distributed at political events and other public forums.
Tony continues to create, print and mail self-serving flyers even before he bought adequate PPE supplies. For the complete report, read Exhibit 11.