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Florida Senate says Broward elections official must resign

The Florida Senate will not take action on Broward County's embattled supervisor of elections Brenda Snipes, saying her decision to resign is now final.

The Florida Senate will not take action on Broward County's embattled supervisor of elections Brenda Snipes after her suspension last month, determining that her resignation is unconditional, Senate President Bill Galvano said in a memo to members Thursday morning.

Snipes had initially planned to step down Jan. 4, announcing her decision after the November midterm elections that resulted in three statewide recounts plagued with issues in Broward. But after Gov. Rick Scott suspended her late last month, citing "misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty," Snipes said she was rescinding her decision to step down.

The upper chamber of the Legislature has the authority to remove an official from office or reinstate them under the state's constitution. But the upper chamber's general counsel, in a memo to Galvano, determined that Snipes tried to take back her decision too late and that her resignation is permanent.

“We are presented with a situation where Dr. Snipes’ unconditional resignation will take effect on January 4, 2019, well before the Senate can complete a full investigation into the serious assertions made in the Governor’s Executive Order,” Galvano wrote. “For this reason, I have directed Secretary Brown to inform Dr. Snipes no further action will be taken by the Senate… This decision in no way reflects on Dr. Snipes, the Governor, or their actions. The decision merely reflects that no timely action can be taken by the Senate.”

Pete Antonacci, the former general counsel to Scott, was sworn in earlier this month to replace Snipes as elections chief.