South Florida Sheriff Gregory Tony found himself face to face with yet another controversy, after purported half-naked pictures of his with topless women surfaced online.

In 2019, Tony was appointed the Broward Sheriff by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis after the former Sheriff Scott Israel was removed following controversial handling of the Parkland school shooting incident in 2018.

Gregory Tony
Twitter

The South Florida Sheriff shot into limelight after Florida Bulldog, an investigative journalism website, reported a shooting incident which took place in Philadelphia on 3 May, 1993.

The website revealed that Tony, who was 14 years old at that time, shot dead a man. Two days later, Tony spoke about the incident, which he termed as an act of self-defence. "This wasn't a secret. There was no requirement for me to express that I survived a brutal attack where someone was trying to kill me when I was 14 years old," he said.

The photos released by political blog Red Broward purportedly show him in blue boxer briefs posing with topless women.

Gregory Tony
Red Broward

According to the blog, the racy photographs date back to August 2015 and April 2016. Tony, who was working as a sergeant at the Coral Springs Police Department at that time, was attending a party arranged by an organiser of erotic theme events, pool parties, strip and swing club events and group vacations.

Gre
Red Broward

In one of the photos, wearing nothing but tight fitting swimming briefs and sunglasses, Tony posed against the Bliss Nightclub board. Notably, the club describes itself as destination for organising private parties for "young, fit, attractive bi-sexy women and couples".

Sheriff blames opponent for leaking racy pictures

The sheriff is hopeful of being re-elected during the 2020 elections. Blaming Scott Israel for releasing the controversial photographs, Tony's campaign in a statement issued to Sun-Sentinel, said: "This is another attempt by Scott Israel to smear Sheriff Tony's name and reputation. He tried to depict Sheriff Tony as nothing more than a black kid with a gun, but it backfired because most people see his struggles growing up among violence as an inspirational story of what you can accomplish with hard work and determination no matter where you start."

Gregory Tony
Red Broward

"Now, Israel is stooping even lower by releasing pictures that instead of just attacking the sheriff, include his wife in an attempt to embarrass and slander her. Broward County voters will see past these disgraceful political tactics," read the statement.

Denying the accusations levelled against him, Israel was quoted by the New York Post: "The first time I even heard of these photos was when someone sent me a link to them posted [on a blog]. I know nothing about their origin."