TAMPA, Fla. — Suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren fired back at Governor Ron DeSantis Thursday afternoon, just hours after DeSantis announced his suspension.
Earlier Thursday, Governor DeSantis said Warren was being suspended after his staff compiled records and concluded that Warren "put himself publicly above the law."
After speaking about a cold case in Hillsborough County, Warren took questions from the press about the governor's move.
"If the governor thinks he can do a better job, then he should run for state attorney, not president," Warren said about DeSantis' move to suspend him.
Warren, who has been elected twice as the state attorney in Hillsborough County, said DeSantis' suspension didn't impact him doing his job Thursday.
"I haven't even looked at the order yet because I woke up to do my job today, and that's exactly what I did," Warren said.
As for the order, Warren said while he hasn't read it, he heard it "contains a lot of conjecture and lies."
"Just based on the governor's track record with unconstitutional orders; I have a feeling that this is going to be just as unconstitutional as the 15-week abortion ban, the anti-protest law, and a dozen other things the governor has signed," Warren said.
Shortly after Warren spoke, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Charlie Crist delivered a rebuke of DeSantis' actions from the same location.
"Andrew is a smart lawyer, and he is of pure heart, and he does a great job," Rep. Crist said. "He was maliciously attacked and sabotaged in his own office."
Crist later said, "Tampa Bay deserves better, and I know Andrew Warren deserves better than he got."
Dozens also gathered outside the Hillsborough County courthouse on Thursday to show support for Warren.
"I was shocked. I mean this is a state attorney that we had elected not once, but twice here in Hillsborough County," said Bernice Lauredan, Director of Voter Engagement with Dream Defenders.