The case of Gov. Ron DeSantis versus Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel concluded Wednesday without ambiguity when the Florida Senate voted 25-15 to remove the suspended lawman from office.


Okaloosa County residents were denied that kind of closure in August when, for reasons he has not explained, DeSantis reinstated School Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson and allowed her to resign.


The reinstatement opened the door for Jackson to sue the Okaloosa County School Board to get $282,000 in attorney’s fees.


The board is resisting the request. A motion filed Oct. 7 calls on Circuit Court Judge William Stone to dismiss the civil action.


Jackson’s lawsuit claims that after considering an appeal of the suspension, DeSantis discovered “the truth regarding (Jackson’s) faithful and upstanding service as Superintendent” and “determined it appropriate to reinstate (her).”


The School Board “is legally obligated to reimburse (Jackson) for her reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred in connection with her successful defense of the suspension,” Jackson’s lawsuit states.


The motion to dismiss states that no successful defense of the Jackson suspension ever occurred. It notes that two grand juries were highly critical of her management of the Okaloosa County School District and that the Florida Supreme Court upheld DeSantis’ decision to suspend her.


Among several legal arguments presented for dismissal is one that states the governor’s reinstatement action does not entitle Jackson to an award of attorney’ fees.


Only the Florida Senate has the constitutional right to exonerate and reinstate an official suspended by the governor. It is likewise the only body entitled to order an award of attorney’s fees to a public official that has been cleared of charges and returned to office, lawyers for the School Board argue.


Jackson’s deal with the governor to resign if she was reinstated halted an appeal of her suspension before it could be brought before the Senate for consideration, the motion said.


That prevented senators from determining whether to exonerate and reinstate her or remove her from office. For the governor to take an action that allowed Jackson to claim attorney’s fees would breach the constitutional separation between the executive and legislative branches of government, the motion said.


“Separation of powers may be the most compelling reason why Ms. Jackson is not entitled to a common law award of fees and costs,” the motion argues.


The School Board’s motion further argues that not even Judge Stone has a constitutional right to award Jackson attorney’s fees.


“The judiciary is not an additional check under the Florida Constitution on the suspension authority of the governor,” the motion to dismiss states. “The Senate’s judgment of removal or reinstatement of officer is final and will not be reviewed by the courts.”


Ty Jackson, Jackson’s son-in-law and one of the attorneys working on her behalf, did not return a phone call seeking comment on the motion to dismiss.


The Governor’s Office said when DeSantis suspended Jackson that she had failed in the administration and management of the School District, including supervising the instruction of children. The charges alleged her neglect of duty and/or incompetence resulted in multiple instances of child abuse/neglect perpetrated by educators and school officials.


The charges also stated that Jackson failed to provide sufficient policies and procedures to protect students, which resulted in child abuse and neglect of children. It cited as evidence confirmed findings of child abuse in two 2015-16 cases and child abuse charges filed earlier this year against three more Okaloosa educators.


Jackson has thus far profited from the governor’s reinstatement by netting almost $52,000 in School District reimbursement for the seven months she was suspended.


She has also collected retirement benefits that included a lump sum payout of $200,721 and monthly retirement stipend of $5,500, according to a report from Florida Phoenix, a Tallahassee-based news organization.