Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie Ducks Blame For “Lost” $2.5 Million, Then Takes Junket




What did Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie do after announcing this week that he can’t find $2.5 million missing from the school police budget?

He didn’t admit responsibility. He didn’t take the blame.

Instead, Runcie hightailed it to St. Petersburg for a junket.


Robert Runcie

Robert Runcie


He is there for a three-day program at Eckerd College’s leadership Development Institute. Runcie bills the lesson as a “leadership/teambuilding event with the Cabinet”– the grandiose name Runcie bestows on his 10 top administrators.

Those 10 went along for the ride. And the free food. And the free drinks. And the free everything else.

When is the last time teachers got treated to free anything…except grief?

“The whole 10th floor is missing,” quipped one source that works in the School Board’s HQ.

Runcie says in a memo, widely circulated in HQ, that the trip is part of his “continued leadership and team development.” The program is funded “through a grant from the Florida Association of District School Superintendents” That’s a group supported by local school boards, .i.e, taxpayers from across the state including Broward.

Other than disclosing the association gave Broward a grant, Runcie kept mum about the cost of the three-day road trip. Presumably the 10 higher-ups – who all make six-figure salaries – are continuing to collect their pay.

The trip came one day after Tuesday’s School Board workshop when it was disclosed that the school police department is $2.5 million in the hole for this fiscal year. Only $50,000 remains in its budget.

Perhaps most shocking: Runcie’s repeated admission that despite an investigation that has been going on for more than a month, administrators still don’t know where the money went.

Runcie also repeatedly refused to accept responsibility despite intense grilling by School Board member Robin Bartleman at this week’s meeting.

  1. Bartleman: “As the CEO of the sixth largest school district in the nation with an over $2 billion budget, how do you not have internal controls to find the budget is overspent by $2.5 million?”
  2. Runcie: “I need to do an audit. Let me say the departments are not allowed to overspend their budgets. We need to do an investigation.”
  3. Bartleman: “This (is) your department… You have a Chief Operations Officer and a Chief Financial Officer. Two point five million dollars doesn’t happen in a week…There are no checks and balances from your staff or you are implying someone stole the money. Those are the two options…It leads me to believe you have serious business practice issues you have not looked into…A lost $2.5 million scares the heck out of me. You have been and are directly in charge. You are the superintendent. The buck stops…with you.”

The buck may stop at Runcie’s desk, but $2.5 million is another matter.

The superintendent passed everyone of those 2.5 million bucks to Chief of Staff Jeff Moquin, telling Bartleman that Moquin is responsible for finding what happened to the money.

Runcie is not able to stop $2.5 million from going missing, but he does an exquisite job of bobbing, weaving and denying responsibility.

A few hours after Tuesday’s meeting, Runcie took off for St. Petersburg’s Eckerd College. Since he provided no details, it is not known where he is staying. The school on its website states this:

“Most participants prefer to stay at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club. We have arranged special conference rates for program participants, and the resort provides complimentary transportation to and from campus.”

Runcie and his Cabinet will be able to unwind in the spa, play a round of golf or dine on dishes like garam masala rubbed filet with white asparagus and tri color fingerling potatoes for $38-a-plate. The regular rate for rooms at the hotel range to over $319-a-night.


Vinoy Renaissance Resort

Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club


Truthfully, this excursion may be worthwhile. Runcie and his Cabinet may pick up tips on how to be better leaders.

I hope Lesson Number One is: Taking Responsibility For Mistakes.

Perhaps then Runcie can honestly answer the question: Just how did $2.5 million disappear?




29 Responses to “Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie Ducks Blame For “Lost” $2.5 Million, Then Takes Junket”

  1. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:


    How can a CEO get away with not knowing where 2.5 MILLION went?

    What about all thesw AUDIT MANAGERS we keep hearing about?


    Doesnt the School Board code expense items with department code n type of expense code?

    I mean the Superintendents response makes no sense if they are following basic accounting systems.

    I am just flsbbergasted

    The junket is just salt in the wound to public confidence

  2. Thomas James says:

    Runcie is incompetent and should be terminated with cause negating any severance payout.

  3. juliet hibbs says:

    If course Mr. Runcie isn’t responsible I wonder how Mr. Moquin feels being put in the hot seat. Maybe now he might have some understanding of what all the abused staff has been talking about. Jess Moquin will have to give his resignation over this one. It is why it is duck, weave and throw someone under the bus. Chief Williams is gone and when this first surfaced MONTH ago….Mr. Runcie attempted to blame David Golt.

    Runcie and his criminal crew are living high on the hog while the people of Broward slip into poverty and ignorance.

    Broward will take decades to recover, if it ever can! The lack of education taking place is absurd. Students and their education are not even on Runcie’s radar. That is why all the crimes against students are allowed and covered up to protect his clique

  4. Pat on the Back says:

    Come on folks this is funny stuff. I personally think the lack of transparency on all these issues will continue. Are these type of gratuities IRS exempt? Gotta love those board folks who ask the “million dollar” questions, I’m sure the leadership event will be productive and Broward taxpayers will soon see the results. AAA discounts? Two or three to a room? Public records requests are so revealing. I wonder if their public information PR teams are ramping up for a response along with all the Twitter photos they will be showcasing for this weekend.

  5. Truth Seeker says:

    I am by no stretch of the imagination going to defend mismanagement of $2.5 million. But I think this article is a bit sensationalized and is trying to incite people to anger. If the superintendent wants to take his team off site to a conference for leadership development, he should be applauded. The constant questioning of the trip and the hotel accommodations and the food and drinks and “fun” activities is really unnecessary. It is not uncommon for top executive leaders to go off site for team building and leadership development. The manner in which his article describes it makes it appear that it is not common practice and wasteful. Other organizations engage in similar practices, including other school districts. Look just to the south of us and you would find much of the same and probably more. But you don’t, and this is why it appears to be a witch hunt.
    Hold Runice accountable, but don’t sensationalize it with this leadership trip.

  6. It is only money says:

    According to the operational audit, Step up for students (SUFS)
    -wrote off $166K (28 schools) of Florida tax credit program accounts receivable as uncollectable, and
    -SUFS had $1.2M accounts receivables.

    Voucher schools owe this money back because the money was sent to the school, and it was determined that the student wasn’t eligible or the student didn’t enroll or the school was not in compliance. Doug Tuthill’s response to the audit finding is “The accounts receivables balance of $1.2 million as of February 28, 2015 represents .0011% of the overall scholarship dollars distributed during that time.”

    Perhaps Runcie could justify like Doug Tuthill and calculate the percentage of $2.5M of the $1.9B budget and say it is only a small percentage of the total budget.

  7. sonly says:

    This is migraine material. This guy has got to go…

  8. vangork says:

    when does this madness stop? runcie’s now looking to get fired and leave with his buyout..nice job “ladies ” of the board…

  9. PandaBear says:

    Amd the neat goes on,
    And the beat goes on….

    Why is it Broward voters have absolutely no common sense? Why? How stupidly dense and obtuse can they be? Kick this azz out to the curb already along with his entire cabinet, shelves, drawers, doors, pulls, and knobs!

  10. Moreofthesamecrap says:

    Once again the Board talks a good game and does N O T H I N G. All 9 of you as a whole are as bad as Runcie is.

    As long as Runcie keeps the total incompetents that have continually proved themselves incompetent, then he is an incompetent. Take a look at the management who continue to remain in the problem departments and you have your answers. You can move them or demote them, even promote them, but the problems remain. Nepotism and retaliation remain at an all time high while morale is the lowest and staff is leaving in droves. Staff retention is a key indicator of management leadership abilities (or lack of). No one at Broward Schools loves coming to work except the new hires who are coming in at $10K+ over their counterparts. Who would want to stay here? Or was that the intention?

  11. @Truth Seeker says:

    Ablind man would know how it looks to go on a retreat just a day after you report a $2.5 million loss of money. Keep in mind Runcie is already facing an audit of $23 million by the state which could result in repaying the money and costs threatening some of the bond projects. Something is wrong with Mr. Runcie’s finance management.

  12. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    The electorate is far different up here in Central Florida. We just won our battle to stop the county commission from putting a sales tax increase for transit on the November ballot.

    We don’t elect idiots and incompetents, and when the electeds start acting like Broward’s, we set them straight.

    Pasco and Pinellas defeated the taxes on the ballot last year, but we’re one up….we didn’t let the tax even get to the ballot!

    The School Board fired the sup’t. who was using reserves to pay for ongoing expenses. They got two new conservatives elected who made the difference when the vote was taken.

  13. whathappenedtoJAAB says:

    What happened to the JAAB law Blog its completely down are they redoing it? or has it been hacked? weird


    Bill Gelin tells me the site is down for technical work and will be restored shortly.

  14. Calcetines says:

    The mob from Chicago at work and relaxation.

  15. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Miss Charlotte must be having a Ball in my hometown.

  16. CA says:

    And guess what special treat is in store for district staff next Friday and Saturday? A Tech conference!!! Administrators and district staff get to go on Friday (you know, when they’ll be paid to go) and teachers get to go on…wait for it….Saturday!! Hurray, we get to spend our own time off learning about how to do a better job teacher. No worries, though, because there are door prizes. Maybe we can sell them on ebay to recoup some of the pay raise we haven’t received.

  17. CA says:

    Sorry for the horrendous mistakes in conventions above. I’m just over trying to correct errors – even my own.

  18. just saying says:

    @12 Charlotte Greenbarg –
    All of the other 66 counties (well maybe 64 -not Dade and PB) have taxpayers and citizens and voters that are not asleep at the switch and nip the backroom deals in the bud. not Broward where they cozy up and worse get in bed with anyone that will put them on the money grubbing end of a deal, big or small.

  19. Amazing Karnack says:

    Karnack says all of the apparent incompetence is not all RunDMC. Karnack says there was a time when he wanted to do the right thing. Karnack says that all changed on November 4,2012. Karnack says on that day the new board became the old board again and Broward politics resumed a dirtier than Chicago life style.

    Karnack says when the old sheriff was voted out so was any fear of retribution for public corruption. Karnack says the old sheriff had issues for sure but his public corruption unit along with a very secret task force of other local and federal initials struck fear in the old corrupt Broward power regime.

    Karnack says you can doubt him or call him crazy as most do but Karnack lived every sad moment as the task force vanished like a fart in the wind along with any hope that the so called leading ladies or RunDMC would actually do what is best for the public. Karnack says it happened as fast as turning off a light switch.

    Karnack says one day this entire story will be told, Karnack says until then expect more stories of missing money, poor hiring selections, questionable contracts, and no one being held accountable because it takes an organized machine from top to bottom to continue to fleece the public with no accountability. Karnack says it is to bad but that train left the station in 2012.

  20. Same old story says:

    Since this article has been published several more articles have come to pass. At this point, the school board ladies have a host of reasons to fire Runcie for cause. However, the ladies may think the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. I hope they are smarter than that. Anyway Runcie keeps messing up and eventually they have to open their eyes!!!!

  21. juliet hibbs says:

    BTW…already up to an estimate of 3.5 million, per the auditor. Tuesday they vote to approve over $600 THOUSAND dollar resource officer contract. That would bring it to over 4 million and growing.

    Flat out…Mr. Runcie IGNORED the unamaomous order of the board on June 19, 2012. No investigation into Jon Marlow….insubordination to the board and that is good cause. We reported students sexually assaulted and a list of other MAJOR issues. Only ONE requested a copy of the case and what they got from SIU they got MY CASE of “possibly contributing to the homosexuality of a student” The entire system must be broken to fix it

  22. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Timing here couldn’t be worse for the Super. This shin-dig taken place -this looks like the Don Czar’ . I’ll tell you looking at what on the entrée-I mean basicly a piece of steak, overcooked asparagus or coli-flower(take you pick) and probably cold potatoes(multi color-the red probably hard as a rock-if I were the inner circle, his dream team, I would have much rather have gone to Disney World or the white house corr. dinner(did you see VP Joe Biden-oh he’s the new Price is right-Bob parker-come on down” oh w/ the botox ,oh I’m thinking major face lift, the whitey, whitey caps, to the hair plugs wow -who knew). That’s where I would want to go, and oh yes weekend at the Mayflower. I mean if the tax payer is paying(I love some of you oh its a grant(CDBG-funds 100g to a coffee house-really Mayor)weather its grant money or provided by the state, or Feds bottom line you ain’t payina dime so if you ain’t payin its not magic and poof the bill is taken care of- you , us the residents paid for this. Then before they pack the suitcase its discovered he has no idea where 2.5 million dollars is . Where is it. Its like the “duffle bag” all over again. 2.5 million dollars, and he says we will investigate. I think the Inspector Gene. Broward State Atty, the FBI, for starters. Like its no big deal, we cannot for 2.5 million dollars. Thank you robin Bartleman, where were you Ms.Osgood in that you should have spoken up as well. What that wouldn’t be the “black” thing to do”, what because he’s black , we give him a break, come on. Oh if Runcie looled like Ritchie Cunningham, and was whiter than New England snow, oh she would have stated differently. If Super Runcie cannot find this missing money than he should be shown the door. severance package the 2.5 million you can’t jusify where it went……….Is your golden parachute out of here. Imagine he got a daughter at Harvard(we payin for that too). Unless I’m missing something and these commnets ar e not warranted , than by all means Mr.runcie and Ms.Osgood etc, then spill the beans….

  23. KCW Hairstylist says:

    I understand the importance of leadership development but a fair question to be asked is why are many of the selections been short-termed. Are they being asked to leave because of total incompetence or because his senior staff doesn’t like to hear concerns that are raised within many departments. When you rule by avoidance or worst, the unpleasant realities will be aired. I’m beginning to respect most of the questions being asked, but not yet accepting of all of the answers being offered. The childhood advice of “stop, look, and listen” is especially true when you are speaking during a taped public forum.

  24. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Anyone buy the SUN SENTINEL issue with the taxpayer paid full page praising Dr Runcie Dr Osgood and the woman who heads the Childrens Council that pays Cynthia Bush to lobby for them when she’s not chairing the Democratric County Commitee?

    Anyone see the various free weeklies with half page photographs of Drs Runcie n Osgood praising their work for Blacks Gays Lesbians the handiccapped n others needing subsidized housing?
    I may never support these people but they will be in office forever as long as they have the loud support of government that means taxpayer supported groups n their supporterd. You vote for the Childrens Council County Tax n you support Dr Runcie.

    You support HUD funding housing in Ft Lauderdale you help elect Dr Osgood.

    The problem is not in the Stars but in how Ft Lauderdale votes for programs run by self serving politicians OF BOTH PARTIES.

  25. Howard the Moron says:

    Broward is a cesspool of corruption. You morons keep voting in the same criminals. Runcie is from Chicago, the same place the criminal in chief O’Bama is from. Why are you people surprised? You deserve to work an extra 20 years just to pay for your idols antics.

  26. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    President Obama has never been charged indicted or convicted of a single crime. To call him a criminal is at best a lie at worst racist inspired libel n slander

  27. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Yes, Count, I am enjoying myself up here in Hillsborough!

    Did you live in S. Tampa or in unincorporated Hillsborough?

    Thanks, just saying. You’re spot on.

  28. Peter McIntosh says:

    In Response to the rantings of

    24. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says.

    Sorry, but that is democracy 101. The majority rules!!!!!


    Majority doesn’t always rule. The most prominent recent example is the 2000 presidential election. Al Gore received 50.99 million votes, while George W. Bush got 50.46 million.

  29. Peter McIntosh says:


    USA Presidential Elections democracy – Majority of the Electoral College.