Add 10 more names to the list of more than a dozen who have left the Broward Sheriff's Office since Gov. Ron DeSantis replaced Sheriff Scott Israel last month with Gregory Tony.
This week’s dismissals include a captain who got into trouble last year over a homophobic Facebook post and the community outreach team he oversaw. Collectively, they made nearly $850,000 annually, records show.
“With any new administration there comes changes,” Tony said in an emailed statement.
Capt. Ira Goldberg, 49, had been with the Sheriff’s Office since December 1990. His termination form, dated Wednesday, cited “services no longer retained.” He earned $161,269.90 in 2018, records show.
Responding to a torrent of acrimonious criticism of ex-Sheriff Scott Israel’s leadership and his force’s response to last year’s massacre of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, DeSantis on Jan. 11 announced that Israel was out and Tony was in.
After an internal affairs investigation over a comment Goldberg directed toward the openly gay vice president of the county’s Log Cabin Republicans, an LGBTQ political group, the captain was disciplined with a one-day suspension for violating his agency’s social media policy, documents show.
Inferring that the club’s vice president had hired people to protest against then-Sheriff Israel, Goldberg’s post said: “I hope you offered them money instead of sexual favors. Those men deserve better.”
Goldberg’s departure is the latest in a string of resignations, demotions, dismissals and promotions in Tony’s ongoing purge of Israel’s staff. The agency has nearly 5,500 employees.
The day after Tony was appointed, five members of Israel’s command staff, including several the ex-sheriff had recruited from his former agency the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, had turned in resignation or retirement paperwork.
They were Col. John “Jack” Dale, Undersheriff Steve Kinsey, Maj. Kevin Shults, Maj. Chadwick Wagner and Col. James Polan.
Joining Goldberg as newly unemployed is his team of nine civilians from the community outreach team created by Israel.
They are the team’s manager Elgin Jones, Patricia Lynn as special projects coordinator and seven liaisons: Michael Albetta, Lorraine Aza, Charles Gilbert, Stephen Greenberger, Patrick Jabouin, Lynn Reich and Lorraine Smith.
Their termination forms, dated Friday, said they were let go “due to layoff/reduction in force.”
Tony’s decision to dissolve the community outreach team was made in tandem with command staff comprised of “veteran law enforcement professionals with a vast amount of institutional knowledge who were employed to formulate our mission moving forward,” the sheriff said Friday via email.
His thinking, Tony explained, was returning community outreach to district deputies, who have traditionally held that responsibility due to their intimate familiarity with the communities they serve.
“Returning these duties and responsibilities to the districts fosters relations that strengthens the partnership between law enforcement and the community,” Tony said. “We stand on the premise that it is the responsibility of both law enforcement and the community to work toward ensuring a safe environment for the residents and visitors of Broward County to live, work and play.”
Also let go since Tony became sheriff have been Col. Frank Adderley, Fort Lauderdale’s former chief of police. Adderley was with FLPD for 36 years and came up through the ranks there with Israel, who brought him to the Sheriff’s Office in 2016.
Another former Fort Lauderdale cop, Jonathan Appel, also lost his job with the sheriff’s office.
The list of the terminated also includes Chief of Staff Lisa Castillo, her husband, Angelo Castillo, who was director of strategic planning and research, Community Affairs Manager Wallace Eccleston, who is the husband of Israel’s campaign manager, Amy Rose, and Kimberly Andor, an administrative assistant.
Col. Tom Harrington resigned, Maj. Nathan Osgood retired, Russell DiPerna left as an executive officer and the agency’s general counsel, Ron Gunzburger, who helped get Israel elected, has announced that he will leave in mid-March to work for the governor of Maryland.
At least 10 agency veterans have been promoted by Tony.