The Florida Senate considers the resignation of controversial Broward County elections supervisor Brenda Snipes final and will not wade into a dispute about whether she should keep her job. Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, discussed the issue with senators Thursday after Snipes moved to rescind the resignation.
“We view her resignation as unconditional and effective Jan. 4, and the Senate will be taking no action,” Galvano said.
Snipes on Nov. 18 announced her resignation, effective Jan. 4. The move came after her office drew national attention for struggling to count tens of thousands of ballots during a recount of the state’s races for governor, U.S. Senate and agriculture commissioner.
On Nov. 30, Gov. Rick Scott, who won the narrow U.S. Senate contest, issued an executive order suspending Snipes, a Democrat, for incompetence and neglect of duty. Snipes countered a day later by saying she was rescinding her resignation and would fight the suspension.
In a memo to senators Thursday, Galvano said the Senate has the constitutional authority to remove from office or reinstate suspended elected officials. But Galvano said there isn’t time to “complete a full investigation into the serious assertions” in Scott’s executive order. “Past Senate practice as recently as 2012 dictates if a term ends prior to the Senate being able to take action, then no further proceedings are held,” Galvano wrote. “This decision in no way reflects on Dr. Snipes, the governor, or their actions,” Galvano added. “The decision merely reflects that no timely action can be taken by the Senate. Nothing precludes Dr. Snipes from seeking a judicial determination of any rights she may have related to the Office of Broward County Supervisor of Elections.”