Head of DeSantis-backed election police force in Florida dies

(CNN) Pete Antonacci, the head of Florida’s brand-new election criminal offenses workplace, passed away Friday, the workplace of the guv validated. He was 74 years of ages.

In a declaration, Gov. Ron DeSantis called Antonacci a “devoted, solid, and assiduous public servant, legal representative, and appreciated expert– a buddy to all in the State of Florida.”

” His battling enthusiasm will be missed out on, and his tradition will continue the hearts and minds of numerous,” the GOP guv stated.

    DeSantis’ workplace did not offer a cause of death.

      David Fierro, a representative for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, informed CNN that Antonacci had a medical episode throughout a conference with the firm and others Friday at the state Capitol in Tallahassee. The state Capitol Police reacted to the event.

        Over a prolonged and exceptional profession in federal government, Antonacci used lots of hats, consisting of deputy attorney general of the United States and statewide district attorney, and he was designated to serve on different boards and commissions. Numerous guvs relied on Antonacci to fill hard functions or to repair messes. When the Broward elections manager resigned soon after DeSantis took workplace in 2019, the guv tapped Antonacci to fill the job.

        More just recently, DeSantis selected Antonacci to act as director of the Office of Election Crimes and Security, a recently produced position entrusted with examining Florida’s ballot system. Democrats and ballot rights groups warned that the brand-new workplace would frighten citizens and called it an unneeded action to unproven issues about citizen scams. Antonacci’s consultation, nevertheless, put some critics at ease.

          The workplace stimulated blowback last month when DeSantis and Antonacci revealed the arrest of 20 ex-felons for voting unlawfully in the 2020 election. Attorneys for numerous of the people apprehended stated the state or regional election workplaces informed their customers they were qualified to cast a tally, and concerns were raised regarding whether the state might show that individuals apprehended meant to devote citizen scams, which is a requirement under the law.

          Antonacci likewise triggered a stir when he sent out a letter to regional election managers discharging them of any blame for not avoiding those individuals from ballot. DeSantis had actually recommended the managers might be at fault for not correctly preserving their citizen rolls.

            A profusion of acknowledgements for Antonacci were published on social networks from much of the general public authorities he worked for or together with over his 4 years in federal government. Republican Politician Sen. Rick Scott, who called Antonacci his basic counsel while guv, composed on Twitter, “Pete leaves an impressive tradition of service to Florida & I was honored to call him a good friend.”

            Dave Aronberg, the Palm Beach County state lawyer and a Democrat, tweeted, “I never ever understood he was a Republican working for a Democratic AG, since it didn’t matter. Pete constantly put civil service and the guideline of law ahead of partisanship.”

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