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Gov. Rick Scott says he cannot deny a monthly pension of $8,700 to the former Broward sheriff’s deputy who failed to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High during the Feb. 14 mass shooting.
Former officer Scot Peterson, 55, resigned Feb. 22 after being suspended without pay by Sheriff Scott Israel. Surveillance video showed that he remained outside the Broward school while a gunman shot and killed 14 students and three staff members with a high-powered assault rifle.
Scott is being urged by the father of one of the Parkland victims to revoke Peterson’s pension. He says he can’t, citing Florida law.
In response to the Herald/Times request for a response, Scott’s office said: “Because no charges have been filed, the state is required to provide his pension under Florida law but our agency will be closely monitoring the FDLE investigation for any updates. If FDLE has found that anyone has broken any laws, they will be held fully accountable.”
Scott’s statement called Peterson’s actions “shameful.” Before the pension payments began, the Department of Management Services asked Broward State Attorney Michael Satz about Peterson, but Satz’s office said it had no information to provide and referred questions to FDLE.
Andrew Pollack, the father of victim Meadow Pollack, called Peterson “the coward of Broward” on Twitter, and a legislator, Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, called on Scott to take away Peterson’s pension.
Pollack has fired a wrongful death lawsuit against Peterson, among others who allegedly failed to prevent the gunman from committing the massacre on Valentine’s Day.
Peterson’s monthly pension of $8,702 began last month, the Sun Sentinel reported. Monthly payments are calculated based on the five highest-paid years of Peterson’s 32-year career in law enforcement. The newspaper has reported that Peterson’s personnel file was filled with commendations.