The Florida state attorney suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis insisted Friday that he still has a job – but the Republican governor’s office said he can’t even get into his old office.
Andrew Warren, who served as Hillsborough County’s top prosecutor until DeSantis announced his ouster Thursday, insisted to CBS that he was still on the job.
“He does not have the authority to suspend me,” he told the network, adding that “the people elected me to serve in this position and I am going to continue doing it to keep our neighborhoods safe.”
Warren asserted that the move was “unconstitutional” and that he refused to recognize its legitimacy.
Those comments drew a Twitter rebuke from DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw Friday, who said Warren was being “delusional.”
“Andrew Warren tells the media that he is still the State Attorney because he identifies as a State Attorney,” she wrote. “Sorry but that doesn’t fly here. In Florida we live in the real world. His badge won’t even work to access his former office today. “
DeSantis said he removed Warren because he wasn’t prosecuting serious crimes and had pledged to ignore current or future restrictions on abortion or gender-reassignment surgeries on minors.
“We are not going to allow the pathogen that’s been around the country of ignoring the law, we are not going to allow that to get a foothold here in the state of Florida,” the governor said Thursday. “We are going to make sure our laws are enforced and no individual prosecutor puts himself above the law.”
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister backed the suspension, asserting that local law enforcement had grown frustrated with what they viewed as Warren’s prosecutorial leniency.
Warren has ripped his removal, arguing that his office has not handled any cases related to abortion or gender-reassignment surgeries and that he was being punished for hypothetical misconduct.
DeSantis has repeatedly blasted progressive DAs in cities like New York and Los Angeles, arguing that they’ve allowed crime to spiral.
Warren was scrubbed from the state attorney’s website shortly after his suspension as DeSantis appointed Susan Lopez to take his place.