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Broward school officials arrested; superintendent accused of perjury

Scott Travis and Lisa J. Huriash, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie and General Counsel Barbara Myrick were arrested Wednesday as part of a statewide grand jury probe into the district.

Runcie was arrested on a charge of perjury in an official proceeding, a third-degree felony. Myrick was arrested on a charge of unlawful disclosure of statewide grand jury proceedings, also a third-degree felony.

Agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Runcie, 59, and Myrick, 72, for their testimony before the grand jury, which was impaneled to investigate possible failures in following school-related safety laws and mismanaging funds solicited for school safety initiatives.

According to Broward sheriff’s records, Runcie was arrested at 600 S. Andrews Ave. and released later in the morning on his own recognizance. Myrick was still in jail as of 1 p.m.

The FDLE has been handling investigations for the grand jury, which has been impaneled since 2019. Details about the allegations against Runcie and Myrick are sealed because grand jury proceedings are secret.

Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools Robert Runcie was arrested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and charged with perjury on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office booking website.

 

The grand jury’s primary focus was to review school safety in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, but it has expanded its scope to include corruption and mismanagement in district operations.

Former Chief Information Officer Tony Hunter was arrested in January, charged with bid rigging and bribery. Prosecutors say he directed a $17 million technology contract to a friend. Hunter has pleaded not guilty and denies wrongdoing.

Runcie has been superintendent since 2011 and makes $356,000 a year. Myrick has been general counsel since 2016 and a district employee since 2002. She makes $220,000.

“I was very surprised when I learned about it this morning,” said School Board member Nora Rupert, a longtime Runcie critic. “The School Board is obviously still in control of the district, and we will be in conversations with our attorneys about how we move forward.”

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