Politics & Policy

Florida Senate Rules Brenda Snipes Cannot Rescind Her Resignation

Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes listens during a ballot recount in Lauderhill, Fla., November 12, 2018. (Carlo Allegri/REUTERS)

Florida’s Republican state Senate president told colleagues Thursday that embattled Broward County elections supervisor Brenda Snipes cannot rescind her previously announced resignation in order to contest her suspension by Governor Rick Scott.

Snipes, whose office missed a crucial recount deadline and misplaced 2,000 ballots in the recent midterm elections, immediately tendered her resignation, effective January 4, once the elections’ recounts were concluded. She subsequently rescinded her resignation after Scott issued an executive order in which he argued she deserved to be suspended due to misfeasance, incompetence, and neglect of duty.

In a memo sent to his colleagues Thursday morning, Senate president Bill Galvano said Snipes’s resignation would take effect before the legislature had time to investigate the circumstances behind her suspension and determine if it was justified. As a result, Galvano said, the Senate would not allow her resignation to be rescinded.

The memo does, however, leave open the possibility that Snipes might challenge her suspension in court or request a suspension hearing before the Senate, which could result in her receiving back pay from November 30, 2018 through her resignation date of July 4, 2019.

Snipes and members of her office were pilloried in the weeks following Election Day for a series of errors that delayed the numerous recounts required by state law — errors that a number of prominent Republicans, including President Trump, attributed to outright corruption.

Prior to the recent election, Snipes had twice been found guilty of violating election law, which bolstered her critics’ allegations of corruption.

“You look at her past, she’s a disaster,” Trump said of Snipes when asked about her performance during an interview with The Daily Caller.

Snipes’s attorney has cast her suspension at the hands of Scott, who is set to be seated in the Senate next month after ousting incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in the midterms, as unnecessary and motivated by a personal vendetta.

“We believe these actions are malicious, we believe the allegations that are set forth in the governor’s executive order are done for purposes of embarrassing Dr. Snipes,” Snipes’s attorney, Burnadette Norris-Weeks said.

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