She is the second democratic elected official he has ousted in the last year over their political agendas. In August 2022, he suspended Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren citing his progressive leanings as part of the reason.
Here is what to know about the Governor’s most recent move:
Who is Monique Worrell?
Worrell is the State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, overseeing Orange and Osceola counties.
She is the first State Attorney of Caribbean descent and the second African American elected in the state of Florida, according to her government biography.
She was elected to the position in November, 2020 after running on progressive platform with endorsements from Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Bernie Sanders, as reported by Fox 35 Orlando.
She was elected with 67% of the vote in 2020 in Orange and Osceola counties. Worrell succeeded Aramis Ayala, who had been the first Black state attorney ever elected in Florida.
She is a proponent of criminal justice reform. Previous to being elected as State Attorney she was the chief legal officer at a criminal justice reform non-profit REFORM Alliance. She has also been a clinical law professor at the University of Florida College of Law and the founding director of the University’s Criminal Justice Center.
DeSantis and Worrell sparred over a case earlier this year
As reported by the Associated Press, DeSantis questioned Worrell in March 2023 over her prosecution decisions for a juvenile suspect charged with shooting multiple people, including a TV reporter and a 9-year-old girl.
Worrell issued a letter in return, admonishing the Governor’s office for using back channel methods to try to get the information. According to her response, the Governor’s letter, addressed to a district employee, read “this is happening all over the country where these prosecutors are not following the law.”
“The Governor had people fishing around Orange and Osceola counties to see which cases he can single out from over 100,000 cases our office has processed since I have taken office, while he prances around Southeast Asia on his dilapidated presidential campaign tour,” Worrell wrote in the letter. “He seeks to exploit his political agenda against me.”