Broward sheriff accused of lying on driver’s license applications. What does he face?

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony lied on at least seven occasions about previously having a suspended driver’s license, according to a court filing by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement — which is asking a judge to suspend Tony’s law enforcement certification for six months.

Andrew Digby, assistant general counsel at FDLE, on Monday urged administrative judge Robert Kilbride not only to suspend Tony’s certification, but to order the sheriff to complete ethics training and a year of probation. The recommendation came after the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission alleged that Tony “unlawfully and knowingly” lied on driver’s license applications from 2002 to 2019.

Digby also recommended that Kilbride find Tony guilty of failure to maintain “good moral character.”

“The position of an officer is one of great public trust and [Tony’s] calculated actions have broken that trust,” Digby said.

The probe began in 2020 when Inspector Keith Riddick, who investigates corruption and crimes associated with public servants for FDLE, uncovered that Tony’s license was suspended for not showing up to court in 1998. Tony, who at the time lived in Pennsylvania, wasn’t yet a police officer. His license was reinstated in 2001.

The investigation was launched at the request of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office. DeSantis originally appointed Tony to the job in 2019 after he suspended former Sheriff Scott Israel in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting.

READ MORE: DeSantis suspends Scott Israel — and names Broward’s first African-American sheriff

When applying for a driver’s license, prospective motorists are asked under the penalty of perjury a series of questions, including if their license had previously been suspended. But Tony, in several applications from 2007 to 2019, responded that his driving privileges hadn’t been revoked or suspended, the filing states.

Tony became a certified law enforcement officer in 2005.

Riddick didn’t investigate the applications from the period between 2007 to 2017 due to the statue of limitations. The investigator instead focused on the 2019 application, interviewing the driver’s license examiner who issued Tony a license.

The examiner, the filing says, remembered their interaction — and said Tony verbally confirmed that his license was never suspended, according to the filing.

“[Tony] denied that his license had ever been suspended,” the document says. “He attested to the information within his driver license replacement application, under penalty of perjury, by signing on the keypad...”

Riddick forwarded his findings to state attorney’s office, which declined to prosecute.

READ MORE: FDLE probe finds Broward Sheriff Tony lied about past on forms. But state won’t prosecute

When being questioned, Tony admitted to knowing that his license was suspended. However, the sheriff “vehemently” denied being asked the questions and does not recall having to answer them, the filing states.

Tony has hinted that the investigation is an “intended assault” on his character and career, according to the document. In a filing Tuesday, Attorney Stephen Webster, who is representing Tony, urged Kilbride to dismiss the case.

“Petitioner failed to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent did unlawfully and knowingly make a false statement knowingly conceal a material fact, or otherwise commit fraud when the applications were processed,” Webster said.