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Broward Judge: BSO Deputies Fired Over Parkland School Massacre Get Jobs Back

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) – A Broward County judge on Thursday ruled two fired deputies from the Broward Sheriff's Office should get their jobs back with back pay.

The former deputies, Brian Miller and Joshua Stambaugh, were accused of failing to act and confront the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter in Parkland in February of 2018.

bso deputy pic
Joshua Stambaugh is accused of neglect of duty and not meeting BSO standards. (Source: Broward Sheriff's Office)
Brian Miller (Source: Broward Sheriff's Office)

The former deputies have pushed to get their jobs back with back pay and other benefits, but BSO fought it.

Last year, one arbitrator concluded that Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony acted 13 days too late when he fired deputy Stambaugh in 2019 for his conduct during the school massacre which left 17 people dead.

State law says discipline against law enforcement officers must occur within 180 days of an investigation's completion. Another arbitrator reinstated Miller last May, saying Tony had missed that deadline by two days.

An arbitrator has not yet ruled on the case involving a third fired deputy, Edward Eason.

A state investigative commission found that Stambaugh was working an off-duty shift at a nearby school when he responded to reports of shots fired at Stoneman Douglas. He got out of his truck, put on his bulletproof vest and took cover for about five minutes after hearing the shots, according to body camera footage. Stambaugh then drove to a nearby highway instead of going toward the school.

Eason ran the other way as gunfire continued, then spent time putting on his bulletproof vest and body camera while the carnage continued, investigators said.

Eason also was faulted for not writing an official report after receiving a tip in February 2016 that the shooting suspect, Nikolas Cruz, was making threats on social media to shoot up a school. Tips to the FBI about Cruz also were not followed up, a separate investigation has found.

Miller was the first supervisor to arrive at the school, arriving in time to hear three or four shots, records show. Investigators found that Miller took his time putting on a bulletproof vest and hid behind his car.

Cruz, 22, is awaiting trial and could get the death penalty if convicted. His attorneys have said he is willing to plead guilty in exchange for life sentence.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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