Prosecutor ousted by DeSantis filing appeal to get job back

FILE - This combination of Aug. 4, 2022, images shows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, and Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren during separate news conferences in Tampa, Fla. On Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, Warren, a twice-elected, Democratic state prosecutor suspended by DeSantis, filed an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the governor in a renewed bid to get his job back. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP, File)
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Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The elected state prosecutor suspended by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is filing an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the governor in a renewed bid to get his job back.

Andrew Warren, a twice-elected Democratic state attorney in Hillsborough County, filed a notice of appeal in the case Tuesday, seeking to bring it to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta.

DeSantis suspended Warren last year over the prosecutor’s signing of statements that said he would not pursue criminal charges against seekers or providers of abortion or gender transition treatments, as well as policies about not charging people with some minor crimes.

The notice of appeal comes a month after a federal judge in Tallahassee dismissed Warren’s lawsuit against DeSantis.

In that ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said federal law prevents him from returning Warren to office though a lawsuit that centered on state law, but that DeSantis violated the First Amendment and the Florida Constitution by removing the prosecutor.

“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 Tuesday. “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.”