Gov. Scott Calls For FBI Director To Resign

February 17, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday demanded FBI Director Christopher Wray resign after the federal agency acknowledged it failed to follow standard procedures after receiving a tip in January about a man charged this week with killing 17 people at a Broward County high school.

Meanwhile, members of the state’s congressional delegation are seeking U.S. House and Senate investigations into the FBI’s handling of the tip, and two Republican state senators want to establish a task force that would look at violence in schools and communities.

Scott called the failure of the FBI to act on a credible tip “unacceptable.”

“Seventeen innocent people are dead, and acknowledging a mistake isn’t going to cut it,” Scott said in a prepared statement. “An apology will never bring these 17 Floridians back to life or comfort the families who are in pain. The families will spend a lifetime wondering how this could happen, and an apology will never give them the answers they desperately need.”

“We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI,” Scott continued. “And the FBI failed to act. ‘See something, say something’ is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow through from law enforcement. The FBI director needs to resign.”

An FBI spokesman said Friday afternoon the agency had no comment on Scott’s demand.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, was arrested Wednesday after a massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Cruz was charged Thursday with 17 counts of premeditated murder, while law enforcement continues to gather information about what was the second worst school shooting in U.S. history.

In a rare admission, the FBI issued a news release Friday that said a person close to Cruz had contacted the agency’s public access line on Jan. 5, outlining the man’s gun ownership, erratic behavior, disturbing social media posts, desire to kill people and even the potential to engage in a school shooting.

The news release said the information should have been assessed as a “potential threat to life” and forwarded to the FBI’s Miami field office, which was not done.

Wray, who has been criticized by many Republicans for his agency’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, said in the release that an investigation is underway into how the tip-line call was handled.

“I am committed to getting to the bottom of what happened in this particular matter, as well as reviewing our processes for responding to information that we receive from the public,” Wray said.

Wray added that members of the agency have spoken to victims and families and “deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy.”

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, a Democrat whose district includes Parkland, didn’t go as far as Scott but called for Congress to conduct investigations.

“This has been an excruciating few days for the Parkland community. Now, it appears that this tragedy could have been prevented,” Deutch, said in a prepared statement. “The American people should be encouraged to say something if they see something. But we also must be assured that these tips will be processed swiftly and thoroughly so we can avoid future tragedies.”

Rubio called the FBI’s failure “inexcusable.”

“The fact that the FBI is investigating this failure is not enough,” Rubio said. “Both the House and Senate need to immediately initiate their own investigations into the FBI’s protocols for ensuring tips from the public about potential killers are followed through. Lawmakers and law enforcement personnel constantly remind the public that ‘if you see something, say something.’ In this tragic case, people close to the shooter said something, and our system utterly failed the families of 17 innocent souls.”

In the Florida Legislature, Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, and Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, asked Senate President Joe Negron on Friday to establish a task force that would look into issues such as mental-health treatment, hardening soft targets such as schools and the possibility of hiring former military members and police officers to patrol education grounds.

“We should not allow the inaction of our federal partners to be the cause of our inaction in addressing the issues of violence in our schools and our community,” Garcia and Flores jointly wrote in a letter. “We must take a holistic approach in addressing these pressing concerns to ensure that we protect all Floridians.”

Garcia and Flores in the past have helped block gun-rights bills in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee is scheduled Tuesday to hear a proposal (SB 1236) that would allow school principals or school superintendents to designate people who could carry guns during school hours.

The task force request came as the Second Amendment group Florida Carry urged lawmakers to eliminate “gun-free zones” for people with concealed-weapons licenses and to allow teachers with licenses to carry firearms while in school.

“It is a well-established fact from numerous such events that bad people with guns will only stop their carnage when confronted by an armed response,” Eric Friday, the group’s general counsel, wrote in an open letter. “Every second until that response occurs allows the murderer to kill and maim more innocents.”

Negron, who visited the high school Friday with Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, and Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, said the Senate will continue to focus on advancing a $13 million increase in the budget, to $78.1 million, for school safety and another $100 million as part of a new category of K-12 school funding specifically to assess and treat mental health.


8 Responses to “Gov. Scott Calls For FBI Director To Resign”

  1. Kate on February 19th, 2018 11:03 am

    Scott is playing politics, he wants to be the next US senator from Florida. Why isn’t he investigating the The Florida Law Enforcement Agency, they are also responsible for
    crimes of this nature. Nothing on them, no even a mention. Seems he misses the log in his eye while trying to take out the speck of dust from someone else.

  2. David Huie Green on February 17th, 2018 10:08 pm

    Thousands of crazies all around us. The FBI employs about 35,000 people. This includes special agents and support professionals such as intelligence analysts, language specialists, scientists, and information technology specialists so they can’t all deal with all the nutjobs who are our neighbors.

    Add to it the folks who insist on sealing any criminal records of juveniles under 18 so that the existing signs are unknown, then demand everyone at the top be responsible for any who slip through the cracks we created.

    But why stop at the top of the FBI? After all that one is just President Trump’s underling. Other than the fact that we know he isn’t responsible, why not call for HIS resignation? We are just looking for a scapegoat to blame.

    And those who reject having the FBI look into other crimes think only their crime problem matters — that fraud isn’t important, that Russian interference in our elections isn’t potentially dangerous, public corruption doesn’t matter, that civil rights shouldn’t be protected.

    Everybody failed to stop him. Let’s all fire ourselves or simply admit it’s a dangerous world and some will kill some of us no matter what we do.

    David for trying harder

  3. just playing politics on February 17th, 2018 4:43 pm

    Scott is playing politics, as usual. He needs to point that finger right back at himself, Rubio also. As far as the F.B.I. handling in this, I’m sure it will be investigated and the responsible person dealt with. Yes, someone didn’t do their job.

    I have full confidence in the FBI to handle the Russian investigation and this.

    In case some of you are not following the News, The FBI is doing a great job in the Russian investigation. Watch real news instead of commentators only, you can get the facts.

  4. Grand Locust on February 17th, 2018 10:17 am

    People in glass houses should not throw rocks. Thirty interactions with local and state law enforcement with clear indications of mental illness and wanting to get a gun, and he blames the FBI for the shooting. How about getting your house in order first. How about giving citizens in Florida protections with the CN restraining orders which give actual tools to law enforcement to deal with mental illness and guns. Yes, the FBI appears to have dropped the ball, but strictly speaking of jurisdiction, they deal with federal crimes and local law enforcement deal with exactly these issues, and clearly the local and state folks did NOT have the tools to deal with this shooter. So to Governor Scott I would only ask to stop pointing fingers and protect our children by passing laws which give local law enforcement tools to deal with mentally ill people seeking guns. I do not want anybody taking my guns, but if I become mentally ill……please take my guns away.

  5. bar on February 17th, 2018 9:07 am

    did they get caught with their pants down again like with 911

  6. SF on February 17th, 2018 8:14 am

    Tragic that all this could possibly have been avoided. I guess maybe the FBI is too busy trying to dig up what they can on President Trump and Russia to worry about American school children. Sickening really! Proves once again how incompetent most branches of our Government are. And the lovely media went right out and said this terrorist was a white supremacist. This is what is wrong with country. Priorities out of place and be first on breaking a story. Doesn’t matter if it’s fact or not.

  7. tg on February 17th, 2018 7:14 am

    Time for some serious Swamp Draining including Veterans Administration.

  8. Richie on February 17th, 2018 7:09 am

    FBI spends more time on things like the Russian investigation instead of the real things in life that really matter. FBI should focus more on the life of people and keeping us safe from terrorist, illegal aliens that are criminals, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, and tips like people as the one in this article it’s a shame that our country is come down to politics instead of keeping people safe from evil people.

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.