Controversial Sheriff Chosen by Governor DeSantis in Same County as Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Trial

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recent appointment of Lt. Keith Pearson as the new sheriff of St. Lucie County has sparked outrage and concern among local Republican leaders and residents. The unexpected move came after the sudden resignation of longtime Sheriff Ken Mascara.

Local Republican leaders expressed their shock and disappointment over the appointment, with some calling for Gov. DeSantis to reconsider his decision. The timing of Pearson’s appointment, which coincided with Mascara’s retirement announcement, raised eyebrows and led to questions about the selection process.

The controversy intensified as Pearson quickly filed paperwork to run as a Republican candidate in the 2024 sheriff’s election, prompting accusations of a potential scheme to secure the position. The lack of communication from Gov. DeSantis’ office with local party officials before Pearson’s appointment only added to the suspicion and distrust.

One of the prominent local Republican leaders, Kenny Nail, criticized the decision, questioning how a lieutenant could be chosen over higher-ranking individuals at the agency. He also expressed disbelief at the lack of consultation with state legislators and party officials, highlighting the unusual and secretive nature of Pearson’s appointment.

The St. Lucie County Republican Executive Committee held a press conference to urge Gov. DeSantis to reconsider his choice and address the concerns of the local community. The members of the committee demanded the removal of Sheriff Pearson, citing multiple troubling allegations against him.

The controversy surrounding Pearson’s appointment is further compounded by a Florida Department of Law Enforcement report implicating the new sheriff in a scheme to influence the outcome of the 2020 sheriff election in St. Lucie. The report alleges that Pearson knowingly conspired with Mascara to assist in creating campaign propaganda signs for a candidate in the 2020 election, raising serious ethical and legal concerns.

A separate investigation launched this year into Pearson’s conduct has raised further questions about his suitability for the position. These developments have left the residents of St. Lucie County concerned about the integrity and credibility of their law enforcement leadership.

The timing of Pearson’s appointment is particularly unsettling as it coincides with the upcoming trial of former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate in the same county. The combination of controversial leadership and a high-profile trial has raised concerns about the potential implications and motives behind Pearson’s appointment.

As the controversy continues to unfold, the residents of St. Lucie County are left demanding answers from Gov. DeSantis and seeking transparency and accountability in the governance and law enforcement leadership. The appointment of a controversial sheriff in such a critical moment in the county’s history has left the community in disarray and striving for clarity and resolution.


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