Thursday, November 30, 2017
Broward Republican secretary Rupert Tarsey, who beat a young woman with a claw hammer a decade ago, gets to keep his party post, even though the state party chairman said he's an embarrassment and should resign.
Florida Republican Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said Wednesday he doesn't have the power to remove Tarsey. He said it's the responsibility of Republicans in Broward County to clean up the mess they created.
The Broward Republican Party was rocked over the Labor Day weekend as party members learned that Tarsey beat a high school classmate with a claw hammer in a 2007 incident in California.
Tarsey was a 17-year-old student at an exclusive private high school. Police said the victim, a fellow student, was left with a broken leg and a broken nose.
Her mother, a physician, said the victim was struck 40 times and her scalp was split. "Her hair and face were caked with blood," she said. "On the left side, her head was shaped like a football."
The criminal case, originally a felony, ended with a sentence of probation and no jail or prison time. Years later, his legal team got a court to amend it to a misdemeanor.
"I don't think that Tarsey should be an officer, or even a member, of any Republican Party given his past history and current penchant for intentionally misleading people. He should have resigned for the good of the Party and unfortunately, he did not," Ingoglia told the Sun Sentinel via email. "I also believe anybody with a criminal record embarrasses the Party and should resign."
Ingoglia also said the county party's leadership is "in complete disarray [and] is damaging the Republican Party to further their own personal agendas."
Tarsey changed his name, moved to Florida and got involved in the Donald Trump presidential campaign and local Republican politics. In May, after the previous Broward Republican Party secretary resigned, Tarsey was picked over two other candidates in a special party election to fill the vacancy.
Ingoglia criticized the Broward Republican Party, which it said "elected him without performing their due diligence. Now, the local [county party] members have the ability to remove him."
The California case has no bearing on whether he could serve the Republican Party, Tarsey said Wednesday.
"There's lots of members in both political parties that have misdemeanors on their records. That's not really relevant," Tarsey said.
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