FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie and an attorney for the school board have been arrested.
Runcie was arrested on Wednesday, facing a perjury in an official proceeding charge, which is a felony. Also arrested was 72-year-old Broward County School Board General Counsel Barbara Myrick on a charge of unlawful disclosure of statewide grand jury proceedings.
“Everybody is entitled to due process, so we’ll have to wait to see how that process goes through, and you figure out what we do from here,” Broward School Board Member Debra Hixon said. “Every employee has a contract, as Mr. Runcie and now Ms. Myrick, they both do so– you have to make sure you’re following procedure as it’s spelled out in the contract that you agreed upon.”
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the charges against Runcie and Myrick stem from their testimony before the 20th Statewide Grand Jury.
The FLDE said the grand jury was impaneled in 2019 by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, one year after the Parkland shooting, to investigate possible statewide failures in following school-related safety laws and mismanaging funds solicited for school safety initiatives.
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.”
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.”
“As legal processes continue, Broward County Public Schools will operate as normal under the district’s leadership team,” Broward School Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood said in a statement.
It is not clear if more information will be released, as the FDLE said information relating to the grand jury has been sealed by the court.
At approximately 10:40 a.m., Runcie was released on his own recognizance, which means he left jail without needing to post any kind of bail. Cameras captured his vehicle leaving the jail parking lot.
Runcie’s attorneys said in a statement, “It is a sad day in Broward County and across Florida when politics become more important than the interests of our students. Superintendent Runcie has fully cooperated with law enforcement throughout this statewide grand jury process. Mr. Runcie will enter a plea of not guilty to the charge. We are confident that he will be exonerated, and he intends to continue to carry out his responsibilities with the highest level of integrity and moral standards.”
Myrick has since been released from the Broward County Jail. She was captured walking out of the facility and getting into a waiting car.
“I am shocked. I just heard the news recently as well,” said Hixon. “Quite shocked at the whole situation. I do believe they are looking at the employee contract to see what is written in there in terms of if something like this were to happen to see if it’s spelled out already and then I’m going to guess we’re going to have an emergency board meeting in the next day or two.”
The Broward County School District has been under investigation since 2019 following the Parkland shooting.
School district officials said the chief of staff is in charge as they work through the arrests. Board members would have to meet and vote if they would like to remove Runcie from his position.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, but it is not clear if they will schedule an emergency meeting in the meantime.
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