TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren plans to file an appeal in his lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis if a federal court does not agree to give him his job back.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that DeSantis did violate Warren's First Amendment rights by suspending him, but said the court didn't have the power to reinstate his position.
Warren filed a notice of appeal on Tuesday, arguing that the court does have the authority to put him back in his elected position.
“The idea that the Governor can get away with breaking federal and state law should offend anyone who believes in freedom—free speech, free elections, and that no one is above the law,” Warren said in a statement. “We’ve proven that DeSantis broke the law, and I’ll keep fighting until I’m back doing the work that the people elected me to do.”
This is the latest in the ongoing saga between the governor and the former state attorney which began last year when DeSantis suspended Warren over claims of "neglect of duty" and "incompetence," particularly when it came to issues about abortion.
Warren had just joined a group of prosecutors in signing a letter saying they would not pursue criminal charges over people who seek or provide abortions or gender-affirming treatments.
Since the start, Warren has called DeSantis' decision to suspend him politically motivated considering the governor made the announcement at a campaign-like rally with cheering supporters during which he attacked “woke" ideology.
Warren was elected in 2016 and 2020 as prosecutor of Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa. He has said DeSantis overturned the will of voters by removing him from office.