Hours after Gov. Ron DeSantis announced during a news conference that he was ousting Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren and unleashed a number of local sheriffs to take shots at him, Warren responded with a statement of his own.
“Today’s political stunt is an illegal overreach that continues a dangerous pattern by Ron DeSantis of using his office to further his own political ambition,” a statement from Warren reads. “It spits in the face of the voters of Hillsborough County who have twice elected me to serve them, not Ron DeSantis.”
The DeSantis announcement also threw a wrench in Warren’s plans to announce a “major development” related to the case of Robert DuBoise, who was exonerated in 2020 after serving 37 years in prison for the rape and killing of Barbara Grams.
Warren still held the news conference, but had to do so at a lawyer’s office in the Bank of America building in downtown Tampa.
“I’ll briefly address the governor’s presidential campaign” afterward, Warren said before talking at length about the indictments of two men in two rape and murder cases, including the one that sent DuBoise to prison.
Watch Warren’s full news conference below, or click here:
Warren then took questions from reporters about DeSantis’ move to oust him.
“If the governor thinks he can do a better job he should run for state attorney and not president,” Warren said, referring to widespread reports that DeSantis is eyeing a presidential run.
Warren, who upset former state attorney Mark Ober in 2016 and was re-elected in 2020, later added: “This is the governor trying to overthrow democracy here in Hillsborough County.”
Warren said during the news conference that he had not yet looked at the order that removed him from office, nor had he watched a news conference in which some police officials — including Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister, former Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco — accused him of being weak on crime.
The comments from Chronister were particularly stunning considering that he and Warren had often portrayed themselves as close colleagues fighting to address issues like recidivism and trying to reduce the number of young people given criminal records because of arrests for minor crimes.
Warren said he didn’t yet know what his next steps would be, but he was defiant.
“I’m still doing this job as state attorney,” he said.