Susan Lopez, who took the reins as Hillsborough County State Attorney following a controversial appointment by Governor Ron DeSantis after removing Andrew Warren from office, has been making significant strides in restoring faith in the criminal justice system.
Upon assuming office, Lopez received a pivotal call while serving as a judge in Hillsborough County. This defining moment propelled her to return the county’s prosecutorial office to its fundamental principles of adjudicating cases on the basis of the rule of law rather than political convenience. Her mission to renew the commitment to justice has resulted in the resolution of some of the county’s longest-standing murder cases.
One such case involved the Seminole Heights serial killer, who was recently sentenced to four consecutive life sentences for terrorizing the city and mercilessly taking the lives of four innocent people. Another notable achievement under Lopez’s tenure includes the conviction of Michael Keetley, the former Ice Cream Truck Driver responsible for a gruesome double murder back in 2010. Keetley, too, will spend the remainder of his days behind bars.
During a recent news conference, Lopez stood alongside her dedicated staff and members of law enforcement. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister emphasized the tremendous difference she has made over the past year, stating that Lopez has successfully restored faith in the criminal justice system within the county.
However, not everyone shares the same sentiment. Andrew Warren, the former Hillsborough County State Attorney removed from office by Governor DeSantis, has accused Lopez of being an unelected political puppet who unlawfully occupies the position. Warren claims that her pretense of upholding the law poses a threat to public safety, freedom, and democracy.
Community activist Robin Lockett, the Regional Director of Florida Rising, echoes Warren’s sentiments and suggests that the position was unfairly taken from him. Lockett and others express disappointment that the initiatives and platform presented by Warren are no longer being pursued.
In summary, since assuming office as Hillsborough County State Attorney, Susan Lopez has tirelessly worked to restore the county’s faith in the criminal justice system. Despite facing criticism, her commitment to upholding the rule of law and bringing justice to victims and their families has been demonstrated through the successful resolution of several long-standing murder cases. The impact of her dedicated efforts is being felt throughout the community, as she continues to work towards a safer and more just Hillsborough County.