More Reasons Why School Atty. Marko Should Go

BY BUDDY NEVINS

An opinion by School Board Attorney Ed Marko could end up costing the Broward taxpayers many millions.

Here is another problem with the school’s chief lawyer:

Marko opines that a contract with builders does not allow the school system auditors to get documents needed to fully audit 14 cafeteria projects. Auditors want the documents because they believe the system overpaid as much as $47 million, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

And who drew up the contract that is tying the school system auditor’s hands?

Marko and his cadre of lawyers, according to documents obtained by Browardbeat.com.

So just to spell it out again: 

(1) Marko’s office helped draw up a contract used to award tens of millions of dollars in construction contracts. 

(2) That same contract doesn’t allow auditors to see if we got our money’s worth.

A Sorry Spectacle

It gets worse.

Lawyers are paid to argue for their clients. 

When the law is in their favor, they pound the law.  When the law isn’t in their clients favor, they pound the table.

But they always take their clients side.

We saw the sorry spectacle last week of Marko arguing against the interest of his clients the Broward schools and taxpayers.

Marko interpreted the contract with cafeteria builders in a way that hurts the schools.

Marko interpreted it to favor the very folks who are accused of overbilling his clients, the Broward schools.

Marko Offers To Help…In The Future

In a May 6th memo, Marko wrote, “Our office would be glad to work with you in drafting a revised Right to Audit Provision for inclusion in subsequent contracts. 

Gee, think they can get it right this time?  How much will this cost the taxpayer?

This comes on the heels of a report that the school system is owed $2.6 million, but Marko has only managed to collect $160,000 of it.

This would be laughable if it wasn’t my money, and yours, Marko is wasting.

This is the great legal genius?

How many more millions will Mr. Marko cost us?

How many millions has Mr. Marko cost us in the past?

School Board members Bob Parks and Maureen Dinnen want to keep Marko on the payroll?  They want his contract extended until the end of next year, although he promised to retire very, very soon.

This mess is  just one more example that something stinks in the Broward schools.

Here is a test for taxpayers:

Marko, Parks and Dinnen are….

(a)  Three Dolts. 

(b)   Three Fools. 

(c)   Three that should lose their public jobs sooner rather than later.

(d)  All of the above.

You decide.



24 Responses to “More Reasons Why School Atty. Marko Should Go”

  1. Educator says:

    My guess is that Marko knows where all the bodies are buried and he is more involved in what is going on at the school system than can be imagined.
    Look at construction contracts when construction was booming, land purchases that Marko approved and his defense of Board members, either civilly or criminally.

  2. shekfu says:

    if audit provisions are generally in these types of contracts, the failure to put this provision in a contract when the board holds the purse strings is gross malpractice.

  3. What Everybody Knows says:

    A comma in the right place means a a lot for developers. Isn’t that right Mr. Edward Marko???

  4. Bob Adams says:

    I choose D

  5. Marko will never leave says:

    Word around town is that Marko has told lawyers not to bother applying for his job since he has the votes to stay, even though the board supposedly did a statewide search for a new general counsel. That would explain why there were only five applicants as of a few weeks ago.

    Word is that when no one else applies, the two you mentioned will have their rationale to extend his contract, as opposed to going out and doing the search again.

    That would be a shame indeed.

  6. Hammerhead says:

    Mr. Marko’s ruling is now well known throughout the district and has caused many fellow project managers to express even more anger. The anger comes from the fact that the payment of these fees was not concurred with by the project managers. They felt it was a waste of money and gave work to friends instead of getting work done for a fair price.

    What Marko has done will not only undermine the taxpayers, but it will also lead law enforcement to his front door because the ruling is about protecting the money trail and not his clients and that is just too evident. As one person put it, this is dereliction of duty to the board but it truly injures the taxpayers. Meanwhile, the construction lobby remains safe under Marko’s old and withered wing.

    And just a thought…wouldn’t it be better to have a judge rule on whether a contract provision was enforceable after the defendents’ attorneys filed motion to dismiss? Marko seems to use every situation to imply the sky is falling as a means of keeping things in-house. He tells the board of the worse case scenerio and then forgets to inform them of the reason they should want to sue the crooked vendors. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

  7. Samuel Lurie says:

    It could be malpractice.

  8. Like Adams says:

    Like Bob Adams, I choose D

  9. Hoof Hearted says:

    Marko is toast. This bonehead move has sealed his fate. I see the board getting a new attorney because they cannot use the one who is a defendant. He has identified himself as a part of the local construction lobby. He has also identified himself as the legal counsel to that same lobby. One cannot serve two masters.

    Goodbye Mr. Marko. Not even your lobbyist partners can save you now.

  10. jaemi Levine says:

    My name is Jaemi Levine I am running for the School Board in district 4. I am looking forward to calling for a vote of no confidence concerning Mr. Marko. We owe it to our students, teachers, and tax payers to reclaim the millions of dollars we have over paid in hidden costs. That along with monies recouped in the malpractice suit the Board must file against Mr. Marko will help to save education in Broward. For the past 5 years I have dedicated my life to protecting children from predators. Now I will fight those who prey on our children’s education.

  11. Hammerhead says:

    “Ed Marko could end up costing the Broward taxpayers many millions.”

    Buddy, I hate to correct your work, but the statement should have been…

    “Ed Marko has cost the Broward taxpayers many millions.”

    Just an observation on my part.

    Also, Jaemi Levine; you have my vote. Thank you for caring. Never forget how much you care today.

  12. BrowardTeacher says:

    With most School Board members running for re-election, this is the time to clean house and send a firm message. New blood with no ties to lobbyists, no personal agenda and no career politicians needed.
    District 4 needs a strong representative with a business background and an understanding of the inner-workings of Broward Schools – not yet another mommy advocate.

  13. Educator says:

    The School Board being what they are, all this about Marko is like water off a ducks back. He has convinced them that he stands between the Board members and the Grand Jury. Thus, he will get his extension no matter what is written or what the public says.

  14. ABCs says:

    High school construction, or misconstruction. Right, Ed?

  15. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Hammerhead we don’t know who you are but you truly hit the nail on the head with almost all of your blogs. I also vote D and along with Broward Teacher, it’s time to clean house.

  16. good luck to you all says:

    I agree that it is time to clean house but you are never going to get 5 board members to do the right thing. It took at least 4 or 5 attempts to get rid of Till, they are never going to get rid of Marko. The only hope is that there will be enough new board members to take a stand, but from what I’ve seen, new board members tend to take a “wait and see” attitude. Too bad Kraft is leaving, she has been trying to get rid of Marko for years. Hopefully her replacement will do the same, but he or she will still need the support of at least four more board members, and I don’t see that happening. Whatever hold Marko has over them is too powerful.

  17. Concerned Broward Parent says:

    I agree with Broward Teacher 100%
    …let’s clean house. Start with corrupt political backbiting uncaring Board members who have the backbone of a worm (That is directed to all of you not just Bartleman)…THEN get on to the BTU dictator who is unwilling to budge in the worst budget year ever (next year will be even worse) Pat Santeramo who is unrealistically trying to protect unqualified tenured BTU teachers and then we should finish cleaning the Broward Schools house by getting RID of bad teachers who should NOT be teaching our children. Tallahassee Politicians who refuse to properly fund education should also be in our “cleaning house agenda”!

  18. Amazing Karnack says:

    Karnack says he agrees with those who respect the words of Hammerhead. Karnack says Hammerhead is a patriot. Karnack says the old volunteer lady is taking one for the team and will be the body the puppets need to point to for the kitchen cafeteria audit. Karnack says others will fall on their swords soon as well. Karnack says tommy tugboat ain’t got nothing especially leadership. Karnack says all tommy got is big teeth at the end of a leash. Karnack says tommy will say anything if he thinks people will believe he knows something. Karnack says initials are everywhere. Karnack says train commin. Karnack says the train goes clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack.

  19. shekfu says:

    with 47 million at issue just sue and get the documents in discovery…that ought to have been the opinion unless the 47 million is just smoke to embarrass someone…

  20. jaemi Levine says:

    Why I always identify myself

    Unlike Broward Teacher I am not into the shell game! I have strong opinions and don’t need to hide behind anonymity to voice them. For the sake of clarity I am a child advocate! I’m quite sure Mommies could use an advocate of their own but alas I am too busy protecting children. Let’s address my business acumen first. My family owned a Marina in Long Island. I left college to be with my family and help my Father run the business when my Mother was in the last stages of bone cancer. Together we built the business back up after her 8-year illness.
    Understanding better than most young people the need for a sound financial plan in the event of extended illness and death I chose to become a licensed Insurance agent. My passion led to a position with North Western Mutual and my own office. I left to raise my family after 15 years of successfully helping others to protect theirs. In short I do have a strong business background.
    Let’s turn now to my advocacy. In 2006, I formed and incorporated my second 501(c )3 Mothers Against Predators. In four years we have become a national organization with over 8,000 members. As an expert on Cyber Violence I have spoken at events around the country, in Broward schools and, I am often called upon by the Media. By the way, one of the contributing factors to the escalation of suicide and violence among our children is cyber bullying. It seems the ability to hurl reckless words is enhanced by the anonymity of a keyboard. That would be why I always sign my name. I stand behind what I say and look forward to standing up for our children.
    Jaemi Levine

  21. Git R Done says:

    We have a Cyper-bulling hotline that is advertised for all parents and teachers to call if they are bullied at all anytime. The number has been active for quite some time since 2002, why haven’t parents and/or students using it???
    The number is easy and you don’t have to give your name at all, it’s: 754-321-0911

  22. The real reason says:

    Mr. Karnack knows the TRUTH.
    The end is coming soon and it will start with a county commissioner and end at the School Board. They are just looking for how many handcuffs and orange suits to order. The Big Cheese, the sick one , Ms. Fancy Pants are first. Next are Mr. Open Space and the college professor if the G-Men look deep. Its not hard.

  23. Don't feed the Crocodile says:

    Please show up at the school board meeting on May 18 to protest the naming of the track at Coconut Creek High after the self-aggrandizing Parks. We don’t need any lingering reminders of the destruction he has perpetrated upon our schools and upon taxpayers for his personal gain. Someone must think they are appeasing that crocodile by naming a track after him, but he is much hungrier than that.

  24. It's Wrong says:

    Whatever we think of Parks, the fact remains it is very bad policy to name anything after a living person. Period.

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