Robert Runcie, 59, the school superintendent of Broward County, Florida, was arrested Wednesday for perjury. He allegedly lied to a grand jury that was investigating the aftermath of the 2018 Parkland mass shooting.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also announced a charge of unlawful disclosure of statewide grand jury proceedings against Broward County School Board General Counsel Barbara Myrick, 72, according to a statement obtained by Law&Crime.
It is unclear what Runcie allegedly lied about, and what Myrick allegedly revealed, but the indictment obtained by Law&Crime said the grand jury was looking into possible ongoing flaws in school safety, as well as corruption.
For example, the grand jury was investigating “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 states.”
They also wanted to know if “public entities” were engaging in “fraud and deceit” by not acting on certain safety measures but nonetheless taking conditional state funds anyway; whether school officials were engaging in fraud and deceit by “mismanaging, failing to use, and diverting funds” from multimillion dollar bonds meant for school safety programs; and whether school officials broke and are still breaking state law by “systematically underreporting” crime to the Department of Education.
Jail records no longer show Runcie and Myrick in the system.
The superintendent is represented by the law firm Dutko & Kroll, according to Local 10. Attorneys said he will plead not guilty, and has cooperated with law enforcement in the grand jury process. They said the copy of the indictment did not mention what false statements he allegedly made.
“It is a sad day in Broward County and across Florida when politics become more important that the interests of our students,” they wrote, later saying, “He will continue to be transparent with the board, the parents and the public with any new information he receives.”
It is unclear if Myrick has an attorney.
“The School Board of Broward County, Florida (SBBC) will provide transparency, accountability and integrity as we continue to focus on delivering the highest quality educational experience for our students, teachers and staff,” Broward County Public Schools chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood told Law&Crime in a statement. “As legal processes continue, Broward County Public Schools will operate as normal under the District’s leadership team.”
Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie was arrested this morning.
His failed leadership lead to the murder of my daughter Meadow and 16 other innocent lives.
I will never stop fighting until they get the justice they deserve. #FixIt
— Andrew Pollack (@AndrewPollackFL) April 21, 2021
I’m asking everyone who follows me to share this story.
Three years ago a monster killed 17 people at my High School.
Local officials’ corruption allowed it to happen.
Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie arrested on a perjury charge. Justice.
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) April 21, 2021
Update – 5:45 p.m.: We added copies of the indictments, referenced a statement from Runcie’s attorneys, and added tweets responding to his arrest.
You can read the indictments below:
[Mugshots via Broward Sheriff’s Office]
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