Unlike five other members of the Broward Sheriff’s Office command staff, Col. Frank Adderley remained at the agency over the weekend after Gov. Ron DeSantis ousted his boss, Scott Israel, as sheriff.
Adderley, the at-times controversial former police chief of Fort Lauderdale, tried his fate with new Sheriff Gregory Tony, who was appointed by DeSantis after the governor suspended Israel for incompetence and neglect of duty in his handling of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
On Monday, Adderley was summarily fired. It was the first of what is expected to be several dismissals by Tony as he sweeps out many law enforcement friends and political cronies whom Israel hired after his 2012 election.
Adderley follows Undersheriff Steve Kinsey, Col. Jack Dale, Col. Jim Polan, Maj. Kevin Shults, and Maj. Chadwick Wagner out the door. All but Wagner were members of what became known as the “Fort Lauderdale crew” – Fort Lauderdale Police Department officers hired by Israel to fill his command staff at the larger agency. Israel retired from FLPD in 2004 after 25 years there.
The firing marks an ignominious end to the career of Adderley, who became one of South Florida’s best-known lawmen in part due to unwanted headlines. He began working for FLPD in 1980 and was made the department’s first black police chief in 2008.
In July 2008, shortly after his appointment, his wife Eleanor Addlerley fired a shot at him with his own service gun in their Plantation home. It struck the bed where he was lying. She would serve jail time for the incident.
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The following year, one of Adderley’s friends, attorney Scott Rothstein, fled the country for Morocco after his billion-dollar Ponzi scheme imploded. Adderley faced great criticism for allowing Fort Lauderdale Police officers to provide personal security details for Rothstein while he was pulling off one of South Florida’s greatest crimes.
Adderley also accepted a ride on Rothstein’s private jet to New York for a Dolphins-Jets football game and dined regularly at Rothstein’s Fort Lauderdale restaurant, Bova Prime. He failed to report gifts from Rothstein as required by law and also mysteriously showed up at a crash scene involving a close associate of Rothstein's. But Adderley was cleared of criminal misconduct in the investigation and, despite the controversy, retained his position as police chief.
It wasn’t until 2016, after Israel won his second term as sheriff, that Adderley left his job as Fort Lauderdale chief to join BSO as a colonel in charge of community affairs. Fired with Adderley today was Kim Andor, the assistant to former Col. Steve Kinsey.
A historical side note: Tony, the first black sheriff in Broward history, fired a man who had been the first black police chief in Fort Lauderdale history. But unlike much of Adderley’s career, the firing wasn't controversial. It came as expected.