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Taxpayers could foot bill of more than $300,000 for Broward superintendent’s exit

Runcie may be entitled to 20 weeks of compensation, but legal situation is also a consideration

Broward County School District moves forward with separation from Runcie, but it may cost taxpayers
Broward County School District moves forward with separation from Runcie, but it may cost taxpayers

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Sooner rather than later. That’s the approach the Broward School Board is taking when it comes to parting ways with Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie and the school district’s general counsel Barbara Myrick.

When it comes to exit pay, it could be costly to taxpayers.

Board member Lori Alhadeff asked about compensation and was told that under state law, the board may have to pay Runcie 20 weeks worth of pay, which, based on his salary, is about $137,000 and $196,000 for accrued sick and vacation time.

The board still must decide how much they’re willing to pay given the superintendent’s legal situation.

“Our job here is to make sure that we protect the Florida taxpayer or the Broward County taxpayer dollar and make sure we’re doing right for the students, so I want to be fair but not excessive,,” said school board member Debra Hixon.

Rosalind Osgood, District 5 member and chair of the School Board of Broward County will be the lead negotiator on how the separation will look.

“We will resolve the agreement of separation with Mr. Runcie and the attorney and we will move this district forward,” Osgood said Thursday at a morning meeting.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers arrested Runcie, 59, on Wednesday, April 21. Investigators accused Runcie of lying to a state grand jury while testifying under oath on March 31 and April 1.

On Monday, the state responded to Runcie’s motion to dismiss the case accusing him of lying about his conversations with witnesses in Anthony Hunter’s case.

Hunter, Broward schools’ former chief information officer, was accused of bypassing the bidding process for school equipment and steering business to a generous friend. He was arrested on Jan. 12 for allegedly “rigging the process of awarding piggyback purchase contracts.” His case is pending.

On Tuesday, Runcie delivered a statement during a regularly scheduled board meeting where an item had been added to discuss his status after his April 21 arrest on a perjury charge. Myrick is also facing a charge related to her interaction with the same grand jury.

Runcie said “assault and attacks,” which include “inaccurate conspiracy theories,” made it difficult for him to lead the district. He announced that he was ready to resign from his post.

On Wednesday, Runcie pleaded not guilty to the perjury charge.

(Runcie’s plea on Perjury Charge)


About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.