ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — On Sunday, suspended Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren released a video vowing to fight Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' order for his suspension Thursday.
In a statement released with the video, Warren called DeSantis' actions an "illegal and dangerous abuse of power."
“I’m not going down without a fight. I’m a former federal prosecutor, the duly elected State Attorney, a native Floridian, and a proud American," Warren said in the video. "I refuse to let this man trample on your freedoms to speak your mind, to make your own health care decisions, and to have your vote count."
According to a statement from Warren, an armed sheriff’s deputy escorted him from his office on Thursday, with no time to address his 300 staff members or even read the governor’s order suspending him.
In the video, Warren states, "He [DeSantis] came down to Tampa—to Hillsborough County—to illegally remove me as part of some political circus.
"He did it because he wants to throw women and their doctors in jail based on a law that has already been found to violate Florida’s Constitution. He did it because he wants to enforce a law that discriminates against our LGBTQ community—a law that, at this point, doesn’t even exist. We won’t let him get away with it."
According to a news release from Warren, he is currently assembling his legal team to fight back against the order and announcements related to the legal case will be made in the coming days.
According to an order released by the governor's office, Warren "demonstrated his incompetence and willful defiance of his duty" starting at least in 2021. DeSantis' order cited article four, section seven of the Florida Constitution in allowing him to suspend Warren.
The order cites joint statements Warren issued on topics including transition-related health care for transgender youth, abortion rights and his instituting policies against prosecuting certain "criminal violations" as reasons for his suspension.
Warren, born and raised in Gainesville, was elected as the Democratic state attorney of Florida's 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County back in November 2016 — just beating Republican challenger Mark Ober by just over 5,000 votes.
Warren was then reelected in 2020, surpassing the Republicans by a more comfortable 46,000-vote margin.
In Warren's place, DeSantis has appointed current Hillsborough County Judge Susan Lopez to serve as the acting state attorney of the 13th Judicial Circuit. According to the governor's office, before she was appointed in 2021 by DeSantis as a judge, she previously served for more than 15 years as assistant state attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit and as staff attorney of the Second District Court of Appeal.