Runcie perjury charge should be dismissed, attorney argues

An attorney for the embattled, outgoing Broward County Public Schools superintendent says prosecutors haven't detailed what Runcie is accused of lying about to a grand jury.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Robert Runcie is seeking for his perjury charge to be thrown out, with an attorney for the outgoing Broward County Public Schools superintendent arguing in court Wednesday that prosecutors haven’t specified what he is accused of lying about to a grand jury.

“What is it that the grand jury truly indicted for?” Runcie’s attorney Jeremy Kroll asked during the virtual court hearing.

Runcie has pleaded not guilty in the case, which led to his reaching an agreement to step down from his position at the helm of the school district.

Runcie is accused of lying about his conversations with witnesses in the case of Anthony Hunter, Broward schools’ former chief information officer, who was accused of bypassing the bidding process for school equipment and steering business to a generous friend.

Kroll argued that Runcie must know precisely what he is accused of lying about if he is to be able to fairly defend himself.

Prosecutors disagree.

“Case after case in Florida talks about type of charge after type of charge and fundamental thing after fundamental thing are not required to be in an indictment or an information,” prosecutor Rich Mantei argued.

Broward Circuit Court Judge Martin Fien plans to issue his decision whether to dismiss in writing. A timeframe for that opinion was not set.

Runcie reached a separation agreement worth about $750,000 with the school board, and while he is no longer on the job, his technical last day is Aug. 10. The school board is considering possible interim replacements from a pool of applicants.

About the Authors:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."