FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Just one day after Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie was arrested, school board members have requested an emergency meeting, but instead, they will discuss the matter in their next scheduled meeting.
According to the Broward County Public School Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood, several school board members requested a special meeting after Runcie was charged with perjury in an official proceeding.
“This is very surprising. The community is majorly impacted,” Osgood said. “I have asked the staff to add a discussion item to our workshop agenda on Tuesday.”
On Wednesday, 72-year-old Broward County School Board General Counsel Barbara Myrick was also arrested on a charge of unlawful disclosure of statewide grand jury proceedings.
The arrests have left board members stunned and confused.
“Very shocking,” said Broward School Board Member Debra Hixon. “I have a myriad of emotions. ‘Til the facts come out and everybody’s allowed to have their say, it’s really hard to know what the next step is. People are allowed to have due process.”
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the charges against Runcie and Myrick stem from their testimony before the 20th Statewide Grand Jury.
According to the arrest report, FDLE investigators wrote, “Defendant Robert W. Runcie, while testifying under oath in an official proceeding, did make a false statement, which Robert W. Runcie did not believe to be true.”
The grand jury was impaneled by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2019 following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The grand jury was investigating possible statewide failures following school-related safety laws and mismanaging funds meant for school safety initiatives.
Runcie’s attorneys said he is not guilty and called the charge “politically motivated.”
A long list of Broward County officials, including the NAACP, pastors and several CEOs, will gather Friday morning to support Runcie.
“There have been people trying to get rid of Dr. Runcie for years,” Bishop C.E. Glover, of Mt. Bethel Ministries, said. “My reaction was one of utter surprise. We want to make sure that the school board understands and that this community understands that an indictment does not mean a person is guilty of any crime.”
Myrick, according to the arrest report, “did knowingly and unlawfully publish, broadcast, disclose or communicate to another person outside of the statewide grand jury room any of the proceedings.”
“This is a shame,” Myrick’s attorney David Bogenschutz said. “It’s a shame it’s going to have to be rectified. This sounds to me like a ‘Get Runcie’ situation, and I think she’s collateral damage. This is going to play out, and it’s going to play out in a rather public forum, and thank God for that.”
“Looking forward to getting more information so that we can actually make decisions,” said Hixon.
Glover said he wants the superintendent to receive the same due process anyone else would receive in a case like this.
“I just want to make sure that the school board does not bow to political pressure to make a decision to cancel this man’s contract,” Glover said.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday.
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