By Associated Press - Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Broward County, Florida, sheriff says a letter from a state lawmaker calling for his resignation after a mass school shooting is “riddled with factual errors, unsupported gossip and falsehoods.”

Sheriff Scott Israel issued his response in a letter to Gov. Rick Scott that the sheriff’s office released to the news media late Saturday.

Israel’s letter responded individually to three points that state Rep. Bill Hager made. They included how his deputies responded to the shooting and the number of calls his office received from the home where the shooting suspect lived.

In his letter, Israel said he “would urge Rep. Hager to publicly apologize for helping to (spread) this false gossip and misinformation.”

Mr. Hager is calling on Scott to remove Israel from office after a mass shooting at a high school that killed 14 students and three educators.

In a letter sent to Scott on Saturday, Rep. Bill Hager cited the resignation of a school resource officer who didn’t enter the freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when the shooting started on Feb. 14. Israel has since said that he’s investigating claims by Coral Springs police officers that several of his deputies didn’t enter the building during the shooting.

As governor, Scott has the power to remove a sheriff for neglect of duty and incompetence.

Hager, a Republican from Boca Raton, also cited 23 calls to the sheriff’s office about 19-year-old suspect Nikolas Cruz.

Hager’s letter said the sheriff “was, or should have been aware of the threat Cruz presented to his community and chose to ignore it.”

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