Sometimes you get a press statement that really requires no clarification, deserves no abbreviation, and needs no window dressing. The letter we got this afternoon from the office of State Attorney Monique Worrell is that rare gem (although we added some links for context). So we present it below in its entirety — pop some popcorn and settle in.
Today, April 28, 2023, an SAO9 employee was contacted by State Committeewoman Debbie Galvin requesting at least two cases where State Attorney Worrell had failed to prosecute cases to get justice for victims of human trafficking crimes. Ms. Galvin went on to tell the employee that “this is happening all over the country where these prosecutors are not following the law,” and that she was supposed to provide this information to the governor’s office last week, but, needed to have it over to them by Monday, May 1st.
We are unaware of Ms. Galvin’s relationship with Governor Ron DeSantis, and are equally unaware of whether or not she has the authority to make such requests on his behalf.
After interviewing the employees in our office who were involved, we were made aware that the information was necessary for an event scheduled to take place on Monday, May 1st.
At this point, we have no idea who Ms. Galvin is and if she’s truly operating under the direction of the Governor. The governor’s office is well aware of how to contact me and should go through the proper channels and protocols if they are truly making such requests. Ms. Galvin’s efforts support the fact that there aren’t any policies that would justify my suspension, and the Governor’s team is pursuing this witch-hunt to establish a basis for the removal of another duly-elected prosecutor.
This request mirrors similar requests from local law enforcement officials who have requested data of my first two years in office. These requests are unprecedented. Especially given the fact that crime is down and has been down for the first two years I’ve been in office.
It’s appalling to think that while Ft. Lauderdale was under water, the Governor had people fishing around Orange and Osceola Counties to see which cases he can single out from over 100,000 cases our office has processed since I have taken office, while he prances around Southeast Asia on his dilapidated presidential campaign tour. He seeks to exploit his political agenda against me, while seeking to use current and former employees of the State Attorney’s Office, as well as individuals like Debbie Galvin, as investigators seeking to gather evidence to build and justify a baseless case against a prosecutor he simply disagrees with politically.
Repeatedly, I have to come to the defense of the prosecutors in this office who work tirelessly to protect the community and keep our residents safe. While the Governor and local law enforcement think they’re attacking me, those they’re attacking are on the frontlines daily bringing justice to thousands of victims. Their mandate is to hold those who violate the law accountable within the confines of the law, in accordance with our ethical obligations as prosecutors. They do not deserve to be woven into these perpetual false narratives surrounding non-prosecution ‘policies’ that simply do not exist.
If the Governor and his team want to be supportive of the work my prosecutors do on a daily basis, he can start by ensuring that they are properly paid to do this extremely difficult work. Additionally, he can ensure the office is properly supported with the resources necessary to keep our communities safe. Further, he can stop vetoing initiatives like our in-office daycare that would have benefitted the staff in this office who are struggling daily to make ends meet, while being told that the work they’re doing on a daily basis is fruitless. Or, he could push his legislators to pass the juvenile justice reform bill and other bills, that would reduce violence in our communities.
Monique H. Worrell
State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit
415 N. Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801
A master class in letter writing [chef’s kiss].