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Snipes lawsuit dismissed after DeSantis order

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(News Service of Florida)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Pointing to an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes over her treatment by former Gov. Rick Scott.

Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker on Wednesday issued a two-page ruling that said DeSantis’ executive order, issued last week, “effectively nullified” a Scott executive order suspending Snipes and that the lawsuit is now moot.

The lawsuit followed a series of events that started when Snipes announced Nov. 18 that she would resign as supervisor, effective Jan. 4, following a turbulent election recount. But on Nov. 30, Scott issued an executive order suspending Snipes and replacing her with his longtime ally, Pete Antonacci.

The order cited widespread problems during the 2018 elections and accused Snipes of demonstrating “misfeasance, incompetence, and neglect of duty.”

The day after the executive order, Snipes held a news conference and rescinded her resignation. Seeking to regain her job, Snipes later filed a federal lawsuit against Scott and Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton.

Walker ruled Jan. 9 that Snipes had been denied due process but said she could not withdraw her resignation after her replacement had been appointed and sworn in.

DeSantis’ executive order formally recognized Snipes’ resignation as being effective Jan. 4.

The executive order also said it “superseded” the earlier Scott order that suspended Snipes.