Broward Schools Latest Shocker! Proof Staff Mixed Politics and Public Business

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

 

Supporters of Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie’s made no secret last year which candidates they supported for School Board. 

But few knew about what appeared to be a questionable political deal offered select minority contractors — attend a fund raiser for Runcie’s favorite candidates and have an opportunity to apply for work on schools.

 

 

Robert Runcie: Staff mixed politics and business

 

The school system even sent a business recruiter to the July 12 fund raiser last year for Runcie’s choices — newcomers Tennille Doe-Decoste and Mike Olbel and incumbent Donna Korn. 

Even veteran members of the Broward School Board, buffeted for years by allegations of inside dealing, were shocked by what looked suspiciously like a questionable quid pro quo.

The deal surfaced, apparently by mistake, on a document given to the School Board this week. 

“To physically be at a candidates’ fund raiser crosses the line. Shouldn’t have been there. Shouldn’t have happened,” bristled member Nora Rupert, a longtime Runcie critic.

Rupert’s opponent, Olbel, was one of those benefitting from the fund raiser. Runcie was said to be backing Olbel to get rid of Rupert, one of his fiercest critics on the Board. 

Rupert learned about the schools’ involvement with her opponent’s campaign through her habit of reading all the information given Board members. She stumbled upon a routine list of activities conducted from July to December, 2018 by the office responsible for expanding the use of minority businesses. 

Innocuously included on a chart of locations that minority businesses were recruited was the description “Broward County School Board Candidates Fundraiser.”

The chart revealed that a staff member attended a campaign fund raiser to recruit potential contractors. It wasn’t hard for Board members to connect the July 12 date with a well-advertised fund raiser held by at least two consultants who had done work for the School Board — Sheryl Dickey and D. Stephenson Construction. 

The chart did not identify the employee who attended the fund raiser while working for the school system. 

The employee identified three contractors as prospects for work on schools. None of the contractors took the offer, according to the chart. 

“Who asked the employee to show up at that event?” an upset Rupert wanted to know.

She got no answer from Runcie, who stayed silent during the discussion at the School Board workshop this week.

Instead Runcie had his old pal Maurice Woods try and subvert the significance of the chart. 

Broward Schools’ chief of strategic planning, Woods is the former deputy information officer of the Chicago Schools where Runcie once worked. 

“There was no intent to support any candidate,” Woods told the Board. “We weren’t even sure who the candidates were going to be at this meeting. We just happened to be there for some recruiting.”

 

Robin Bartleman

 

Woods’ comments left member Robin Bartleman flabbergasted. 

Bartleman had seen the widely distributed flyers advertising the event benefitted the three Runcie favorites. She also noted the widespread talk last year among School Board employees which candidates “the administration” was supporting.

Oozing disbelief at Woods’ “explanation,” Bartleman called it “incredibly disturbing.”  

 

 

The fundraiser flyer

 

The fund raiser did little to help Runcie’s three candidates, raising only a few thousand dollars for each. Two of the three lost:

*Tennille Doe-Decoste was easily beaten by Lori Alhadeff, the mother of a MSD High School student killed in the Feb. 14, 2018 massacre. The pro-Runcie forces feared that Alhadeff would be a vote against the superintendent in the Board. 

*Mike Olbel was crushed by Rupert despite Runcie’s support. A thorn in Runcie’s side for years, Rupert was Runcie’s number one target but she beat Olbel by roughly two-to-one. 

*Donna Korn, an incumbent backed by Runcie’s supporters to thwart her challenger Ryan Petty, an opponent of the superintendent.  Korn squeaked through with 50.4 percent of the vote. 

Despite the poor showings, the revelation of the mixing of public business and politics disturbed even Runcie’s strongest supporter on the Board, Rosalind Osgood. 

“We should not be on work time at political events,” Osgood warned. 

But as usual, Osgood appeared more concerned that disclosure would create another “big media frenzy” aimed at the Board. She even gratuitously blasted the “Fake News newspaper,” apparently the Sun-Sentinel. 

The next cycle of School Board elections is just starting. The terms are up for two Runcie supporters and two opponents.

Did Runcie and the school staff learn a lesson not to mix public business and politics?  

I wouldn’t bet on it. They will just hide it better next time. 

 

XXXXX

See the report that tipped off the School Board. The relevant part is here:

Outreach Report as of 12-31-2018

 

 

 

 

 



15 Responses to “Broward Schools Latest Shocker! Proof Staff Mixed Politics and Public Business”

  1. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    If Runcie backed candidates win it makes the whole concept of QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION a joke.

  2. I.M. Wright says:

    One more reason Runcie should go. Dale Holness was all over these losing campaigns, too. Runcie and Holness are linked in almost everything. Holness people with business from the bonds is almost assured because Runcie owes him.

  3. PETITION FOR A NEW SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT says:

    FROM BUDDY:

    Do you want a new School Superintendent? This petition was brought to my attention:

    https://www.change.org/p/broward-county-school-board-removal-of-bcps-superintendent-robert-runcie

  4. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    These families of the school shooting need closure.Mr.Runcie must step down.To the school be make motion to elliminate him.If not,u the school be.will take the git- meaning if Gov.can’t get rid of him he then will get rid of you.Your choice..Take this advice get rid of Me.Runcie.Give these families closure…Enough…

  5. G.T.R says:

    They are already placing blame for putting out the information and getting them in trouble. Told to look for a new job.

  6. The ghost of Mayor Daley says:

    Come on home, Maurice and Robert. Your Chicago political maneuvers have been exposed. Broward County does not need you. Chicago will welcome you with open arms. I’ll pick you up at the airport.

    Richard Daley

  7. Anonymous says:

    All the character assassins look nothing like Mr. Runcie. In Parkland & the editorial of the Fake News newspaper are the ones who have been in power and they don’t like sharing. 2020 is coming.

  8. Weston gal says:

    …Rich-Levinson is the worst. If you see her somewhere, she is not paying.

  9. NE Broward Teacher says:

    I saw more one teacher at my high school openly wearing T-shirts for Olbel and a stack of his flyers in the lounge.

  10. Old Mold Northeast says:

    I saw one of the protesters holding a sign representing NEHS about the mold in our school. That was a very nice thing to do. We have been abandoned by Runcie and his insulators whose focus is on making him look good while teachers and students are sick. Thank you to MSD Moms. You a’right

  11. Parkland Concerned says:

    How about their using the staff to hide and obfuscate anything about Parkland? The School Board members should be thrown out of office for that alone.

  12. Enough BS from Parkland says:

    If Parkland wants to “fix” Parkland two things need to happen:
    1)Transfer ALL long term admin at MSD
    2)REMOVE the paper pushing, status quo ESE Chair at Westglades.

    The city’s politicians, whose own children attended both of these schools are well aware of exactly where the problems are; and continue to speak in general terms about non-specific issues. They have lost the support of parents as a result.

  13. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Could someone please address the lack of QUALITY EDUCATION in the Broward School system?I dont know who to blame but recent graduates are lacking knowledge n skills private and other county school systems are giving their students. I am however disaapointed in the quality of our School Board members including Member Levinson n conflicts members like Dr Osgood appear to have.

  14. Chaz Stevens, Viceroy says:

    9 cats?

    9?

    Cats?

    I figured a person of your honorific bearing and stately presence would have had a fleet of alpacas roaming the countryside at leisure … adorned in gold Lamé outfits bearing your family seal — which oddly reminds me somewhat of Sponge Bob.

  15. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    The Grand Jury is AT LAST a chance to nail the corrupt School Board. Thank you Governor!

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