TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - They traveled by bus from across the state, including Orlando. Speakers say they want state lawmakers to stop bullying Ninth Circuit State Attorney Aramis Ayala. Protestors against Ayala gathered at the Orange County Court House. Speakers at that rally say, Ayala is taking the side of murderers of victims. They want the governor to remove her from office.
Earlier this week, we asked Ayala what she thought about the controversial rallies. She told us, that it's not about her, it's about justice.
"I've been elected by the people and I understand they want to make certain that the person they've elected to this position has the authority to do what this person was authorized to do by the Florida statute."
Ayala also wants to clarify what was said about billionaire campaign donor George Soros during the interview. Although he donated to her campaign, she says, he had no influence on her decision to not seek the death penalty. She also says, to her knowledge, Soros hasn't donated to the non-profit affiliated with her husband. Ayala's husband was a volunteer for a group that is working to restore the voting rights of ex-convicts.
And while the rallies were taking place on Thursday, a Central Florida Republican was also leading the charge to cut $1.3 million dollars to Ayala's office, because she refuses to pursue the death penalty.
Representative Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, says Ayala's comments about crime increasing, if they cut her budget and eliminate 21 positions are false. He says the 21 positions were approved only a year ago to help fight domestic violence, however he says the move won't hurt the office, because there are already many vacancies, so it won't make a difference.
But the State Attorney's spokesperson disagrees saying it will make a huge difference. Right now, they have 33 vacancies including 13 attorneys and 20 support staff.