FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The Broward County School Board voted unanimously to set up negotiations for the resignation of Superintendent Robert Runcie following his arrest and perjury charge.
Runcie pleaded not guilty but has said he is ready to resign while the case is being resolved.
“If it’s going to give you peace, and it’s going to give you and those other parents who remain angry because I don’t see how there’s anything else I can do, if it’s going to give you that, I will step aside,” he said on Tuesday.
School Board member Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, weighed in on Runcie’s response.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever have peace in my heart, but this is one step to a level of accountability and also one step to my healing process,” she said.
The school board agreed, just after noon on Thursday, to allow for Chairwoman Dr. Rosalind Osgood to negotiate the terms of Runcie’s resignation as well as that of BCPS General Counsel Barbara Myrick.
Runcie was arrested on April 21. State prosecutors said he lied to a grand jury, leading Alhadeff to call for his job for the second time since she was elected.
This time, Runcie, didn’t fight.
For other Parkland parents, however, Runcie’s departure has nothing to do with the Feb. 14, 2018 massacre.
“To continue to bring that up as the reason of what’s going on is just like pouring salt into a wound,” said School Board member Debra Hixon.
Myrick was also arrested last week. Her charges also stem from the same grand jury proceedings.
The estimated payoff for both Runcie and Myrick are determined by state statute.
Runcie can receive a maximum of 20 weeks’ pay, plus any unused sick and vacation days. That can amount to $137,000, plus an additional $196,000 in vacation and sick time.
For Myrick, that amounts to $92,000 plus $116,000 in sick/vacation time.
Ahead of the vote, members of the community spoke highly of Runcie at the meeting.
School leaders and community members also shared their thoughts on Runcie stepping down from his position.
One parent told the board that she is going to miss Runcie. One Broward County commissioner also asked that they send him off with the best deal possible.
“To be in the seat that you’re in, I’m sure, at this point in time in your career, you couldn’t imagine, but thank you,” said a Runcie supporter.
“I want each and every one of you who are sitting on the school board today to know I’ve lost all trust in you, this has turned political,” said Runcie supporter Carla Roundtree. “Mr. Runcie, thank you. Thank you so very much.”
“Superintendent Runcie has served the community with distinction,” said Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness. “It’s sad. It’s really sad. I’m broken to see you leave after you’ve done so much for us and Broward County.”
During Thursday’s hearing, Runcie said little. He reminded the board about a 90-day clause in his contract.
“So, you have ample time to do a transition and figure out who you would like for interim,” he said.
Back on Tuesday, Runcie made it clear he was ready to move on.
“I’m willing to discuss a path to a mutual agreement of separation as you described, Ms. Alhadeff,” he said.
The board is expected to meet once negotiations are finalized. They could vote on an agreement as early as next Thursday.
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