BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie’s attorneys announced Wednesday that he will plead not guilty on a charge of perjury.
Runcie, 59, was taken into custody Wednesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and has since been released from the Broward County Main Jail.
Attorneys from the law offices of Dutko & Kroll in Fort Lauderdale said in a statement that Runcie has fully cooperated with law enforcement throughout a statewide grand jury process. Attorneys also said that the copy of the indictment did not shed any light on what false statements it was alleged that Runcie had made.
“It is a sad day in Broward County and across Florida when politics become more important that the interests of our students. . . He will continue to be transparent with the board, the parents and the public with any new information he receives.” the statement read.
According to his indictment, Runcie lied under oath between the dates of March 31 and April 1 while testifying under oath to a state grand jury that was investigating the following:
- Whether refusal or failure to follow the mandates of school-related safety laws, such as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act, results in unnecessary and avoidable risk to students across the state;
- Whether public entities committed and continue to commit fraud and deceit by accepting state funds conditioned on implementation of certain safety measures while knowingly failing to act
- Whether school officials committed and continue to commit fraud and deceit by mismanaging, failing to use, and diverting funds from multimillion dollar bonds specifically solicited for school safety initiatives; and
- Whether school officials violated and continue to violate systematically underreporting incidents of criminal activity to the Department of Education.
How exactly the superintendent allegedly perjured himself during the investigation is not known at this time.
“We are confident that he will be exonerated and intends to continue to carry out his responsibilities with the highest level of integrity and moral standards, as he has done for nearly ten years in his role as Superintendent,” the attorneys’ statement said.
School Board attorney Barbara Myrick was also arrested.
(See the complete statement from Runcie’s attorneys)