Pete Antonacci lay lifeless outdoors Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ workplace

Pete Antonacci lay lifeless outdoors Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ workplace

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The director of Florida’s controversial election safety workplace, who died final 12 months instantly after a gathering in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ workplace, lay unattended for twenty-four minutes earlier than he was discovered, new information launched by state legislation enforcement present.

Pete Antonacci, 74, had left abruptly throughout a contentious assembly on September 23 of final 12 months in a convention room within the governor’s workplace attended by 11 folks, together with Secretary of State Wire Byrd, Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement officers and Byrd and DeSantis’ attorneys.

Antonacci, a local of Hialeah in Miami-Dade County, was generally known as “Mr. Repair It” for his intensive roles in state authorities over time. He was appointed by DeSantis to move the lately created and controversial Election Crimes and Safety Bureau.

FDLE Director Scott McInerney, who was current on the assembly, mentioned an “agitated” Antonacci “abruptly” acquired up from his seat and walked out. There was no file of what was mentioned in the course of the assembly or what may need prompted Antonacci to stroll out of the gathering on his personal.

The FDLE account, revealed greater than a 12 months after Antonacci’s demise, was first reported by the Florida Bulldog information web site. Regulation enforcement studies revealed that cameras within the convention room and within the adjoining hallway captured him staggering out and collapsing on the ground.

Reviews acknowledged that he didn’t look like shifting after his collapse.

Florida official was discovered 24 minutes after his demise

Timestamps on the recordings present that Antonacci left the assembly at 1:46 pm on Friday afternoon and was not found till 2:10 pm and was discovered by Glass, who by then had additionally exited the convention room to talk with the Governor Normal. Lawyer Ryan Newman.

Glass started performing CPR on Antonacci, assisted by FDLE Chief of Workers Shane DeGoyne.

Capitol Police additionally tried to make use of an automatic exterior defibrillator on Antonacci. However information launched by FDLE mentioned “the machine by no means indicated that it was really useful to manage an electrical shock,” suggesting it will be of no use.

Police continued to manage CPR till Leon County Emergency Administration Companies arrived and took over.

Antonacci’s face was “purple and blue,” and he had no pulse, Glass mentioned, in keeping with studies. A scratch on the highest of Antonacci’s head suggests he might have hit a doorknob on his technique to the ground.

Antonacci’s spouse and first doctor later instructed investigators that he had a protracted historical past of coronary heart illness and coronary heart issues, which had resulted in a number of surgical procedures. Antonacci was taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, the place he was pronounced lifeless, in keeping with studies.

DeGwine, who has since retired from the company, instructed FDLE investigators that Antonacci was annoyed throughout elements of the assembly however didn’t discover any “indicators that Mr. Antonacci was experiencing a medical drawback.”

“One thing we take very severely”: Governor DeSantis defends voter fraud prosecutions amid mounting criticism

Antonacci’s workplace is accused of voter intimidation

On the time of Antonacci’s demise, the Bureau of Election Crimes and Safety had drawn criticism for main the arrests of 20 Florida residents, most of them Black, for voting illegally within the 2020 election. Though these voters had registered to vote, they have been convicted of crimes that made them ineligible underneath The 2018 constitutional modification restored voting rights to some felons.

These arrests occurred simply earlier than the August 2022 main, and critics seen them as an try by DeSantis to intimidate some voters, particularly folks of colour, from casting ballots legally.

Antonacci took over DeSantis’ new place after serving as chief decide of the state’s Administrative Hearings Division.

Earlier, he held a collection of high-profile jobs underneath DeSantis’ predecessor as governor, now U.S. Senator Rick Scott. They included the governor’s normal counsel, the Broward County supervisor of elections, the Palm Seaside County state’s lawyer, and the chief director of the South Florida Water Administration District.

Antonacci additionally served for years as a high deputy to former Lawyer Normal Bob Butterworth, a Democrat.

John Kennedy is a correspondent for USA TODAY Community’s Florida Capital Bureau. He will be reached at jkennedy2@gannett.com, or at @JKennedyReport.

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