School Board Finally Tells Marko To Leave…In A Year


Lyndon Johnson was president.  Men hadn’t reached the moon yet. The nation watched as police and protestors clashed on the streets of Chicago at the Democratic convention.

Washington was shocked by the Viet Cong’s Tet offensive.  In The Heat Of The Night won the Academy Award. Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In debuted and changed television.

Broward County’s politics was Republican.  And Ed Marko became the School Board’s attorney.

It was 1968 41 years ago.

School Board members this week finally said Marko had to go.

But he won’t be replaced for a year.  Hey, this is the School Board. 

This is how it came down:

Marko’s future first became an issue in 2007. That was the year he agreed he would leave in 2009. 

Then when it became 2009, he changed his mind and wanted a two-year extension of his contract through 2011.

By a 7-2 vote yesterday, the School Board finally said enough is enough.

Since this is the School Board where nothing is done expeditiously, Marko still won’t leave immediately

Marko will remain general counsel for one year, half of what he wanted.  Then,  he is out. 

Marko can serve another year as attorney emeritus, to teach a new chief attorney the ropes.  The question is whether he will want to stay when the power to control legal decisions is in the hands of a new new general counsel? 

Where else on the Planet Earth does it take that long to replace an attorney?

Marko has long outlived his usefulness.  He is of another era.

School Board Chair Maureen Dinnen actually the nerve to praise Marko for finally learning how to use e-mail.

But his lack of technological skills is nothing compared to how:

*Marko dragged his feet when asked to collect money owed the school system.  He said it was too difficult.

*Marko fought in court against giving schools in minority areas the same resources that were being poured into largely-White areas.

*Marko repeatedly defied the Public Records Law, refusing to turn over public documents numerous times to parents and community groups.

*Marko has allowed the bidding process for huge construction projects to be subverted. He has refused to eliminate legal loopholes and policies that have contributed to inside dealing and wasteful spending.

*Marko has sat silent and never offered objections when Board members wasted tens of millions on shady land purchases, like swamp land.  What happened to due diligence?

*Marko failed to stop the out-of-control special investigations unit of the school system, whose unjust treatment of employees includes bullying of witnesses and violations of the rules of law.

With a record like that, I don’t think it will be hard to replace Marko.

Dinnen looked particularly bad in this one.

She argued that because there is ongoing litigation and controversy at the School Board, it was the wrong time to let Marko go.

Just when isn’t there ongoing litigation and controversy at the Board, Ms. Dinnen?  

 By your reasoning, Marko should keep his job until it’s time to argue his case before St. Peter.

Dinnen fought hard to keep Marko as chief attorney for two years and then worry about whether to hire a replacement.

Bob Parks agreed with Dinnen.

Fortunately, seven other Board members led by Stephanie Kraft saw things differently.

Member Jen Gottlieb, 37, was one of the strongest voices to get rid of Marko.  No surprise.

When Gottlieb looks at Marko what does she see?  

She sees a guy who promised to retire this year and then changed his mind.  She sees a lawyer whose work hasn’t been evaluated by the ever-trusting School Board for three years.

And she also sees a man of the past who was named School Board’s attorney four years before she was even born!

21 Responses to “School Board Finally Tells Marko To Leave…In A Year”

  1. Chaz Stevens says:

    Watch the firm of Goren, Cherof, Doody, & Ezrol ( fight for this gig tooth and nail.


    Well Buddy,
    You certainly put the whipped cream on this yummy treat. It is going down like a delicious ice cream sundae!

  3. Broward voter says:

    Before all the ethical/legal questions surrounding Stephanie Kraft surfaced, she was interested in becoming the SB attorney. Wouldn’t that have been interesting?

  4. Catch up says:

    Easy choice for this crew. The Law firm of Rothstein Rosenfeldt and Adler will be the new School Bd. attny. That is where Scott Rothstein will get the money back to pay off his “investors”

  5. Dr. Phil says:

    Finally the Board casts a vote that takes us in the right direction. Marko needed to leave.

  6. Bob Bekoff says:

    You spend time on this drivel while Bob, I line my bird cage with his paper, Norman jocks you on the big story; Rothstien.

  7. local observer says:

    This clown can’t leave the school board soon enough. He’s probably one of the last in-house Klansman remaining at the school board. Minority members of the community must insist on being at the table when the board selects a new attorney since they make-up the majority of students impacted by the work of this office. Don’t fall asleep on this one.

  8. Long Overdue says:

    Ed Marko and just about everyone in that building needs to go. They need a complete clean sweep and a wave of new, talented, honest people with integrity to replace them at the school building and bring in a new culture.

    What is there now is rotten and the thing to do is not try to breath life into the dead. But bury it and start fresh.

  9. Marko-Neil's best friend says:

    As the school board attorney, you have to wonder why Marko let the board vote on, let alone approve, a lobbying policy THAT HAD NO PENALTIES! Just how did Neal and Barbara and George and Ira, et. al. make sure that the policy passed in 1999 had no teeth that could bite them? Ask Marko!

  10. Miss Marple says:

    Buddy, please stay on the school board shenanigans – someone needs to cover this!

  11. sunshine says:

    “*Marko has allowed the bidding process for huge construction projects to be subverted. He has refused to eliminate legal loopholes and policies that have contributed to inside dealing and wasteful spending.”

    Buddy: Did it every occur to you that someone might’ve been buttering Marko’s bread as well as Gallagher’s (and others)???

  12. Karnack and Scorekeeper says:

    From what I have seen, and I have seen a lot, Marko has indeed outlived his usefulness to the public, but he has yet to outlive his usefulness to the Board.

    He has sat idly by while contracts have been awarded illegally. In the construction field alone he has contributed to the greatest fraud ever perpetrated with public dollars ever.

    He has been known to not just say that cases were too difficult to go after money owed back to the tax payers, but he has consistently taken a stance more evident of representing the vendors than the school board.

    That has been happening for years regardless of who the sitting board members were. Therefore it is an arguable truth that Marko has been doing what was in the best interest of the school board by protecting their contributors and conspiritors.

    Marko has to go. But make no mistake…he is not just the school board attorney, he is an integral part of the organized crime machine that has robbed the taxpayers for many, many, many years. He should not just retire but he should also be disbarred and go directly to prison.

    That is not just my opinion, but that of many others who have shared information with me over the many years that I have been around.

    Marko should be suspended immediately and a criminal investigation should commence at once.

  13. j says:

    Buddy, easy to kick a man down but Marko was a very good and respected lawyer unlike other unethical lawyers in the news. Before you hammer someone and reference some 37 year old who got voted in because of her last name, try and remember that the guy was an accomplished lawyer and respected not only here but throughout the state and in one quick blog you have tried to hammer him. Its sad that this is what journalism is for you.

    FROM BUDDY: His bosses voted 7-2 to remove him after a year. They know him a lot better than I do and want to get rid of him.

    There is no doubt that Jen Gottlieb benefitting from her husband’s last name. Please remember that Ms. Gottlieb was both a former teacher and a former teachers union official before running for office. I’m no fan of the teachers union, but no one can deny that her work at the BTU made her familiar with education issues. And let’s not forget one more thing: She’s smart.

  14. j says:

    There are thousands of smart teachers who are BTU members but you dont hang around anywhere Buddy in government that long unless your good. Ive worked with Ed, hes one of the good guys who was never part of all this crap and to bash him like he was some moron and/or on the take was simply irresponsible.

    FRON BUDDY: I disagree 100 percent with your premise that “you don’t hang around anywhere Buddy in government that long unless your (sic) good.”
    Government is filled with employees who dedicate their lives to doing a good job. Like any work place, government is also filled with dead wood.
    I would even argue that the school system is a reservior of folks just putting in their time. They are playing it safe, coddled by arcane work rules and the inability of government to ever hold higher-ups accountable.
    The school board bought swamp land in Southwest Ranches. Who got punished? Not the long-time bureaucrats who engineered the purchase. The taxpayers are the only ones who lost out.
    Yes, if you hang around government long enough you must be good…at avoiding responsibility and surviving. Those are the only two traits that count!
    As far as Marko, I never wrote he was a moron. But I believe he has been part of the problem at the Board.

  15. Blue Man Scoop says:

    Lets lay out the Lamack argument again:

    Either he knew what was going on and ignored it, or he was a moron and had no clue what was going on around him. Neither is good.

  16. InTheKnow says:

    Buddy says “The school board bought swamp land in Southwest Ranches. Who got punished? Not the long-time bureaucrats who engineered the purchase. The taxpayers are the only ones who lost out.”

    Not quite. Frank Till lost his job over this and other shenanigans. Beverly Gallagher is under federal indictment, waiting either for trial (unlikely) or to turn state’s evidence and cut a deal. Mike Garretson is under the federal microscope and will likely be indicted as well. The bureaucrat at involved in the purchase not in the news is Tom Coates. At least not yet.

    One more individual is being investigated for the “swampland deal.” We both know who it is, and it’s not a School Board employee.

    Payback might well be a bitch, but justice takes time.

    FROM BUDDY: Yes, Frank Till lost his job. On a razor-close vote years after the purchase.
    Gallagher was caught taking money. Although she was the Board member most responsible for the swamp-land, she got re-elected after its purchase in a campaign run by lobbyist Barbara Miller.
    Garretson is under the fed microscope, but nothing yet.
    I agree with you about Coates. When I and another reporter did the stories about the SW Ranches land for the Sun-Sentinel, we were always very suspicious about the role of Coates in this purchase and the purchase of land in west Pembroke Pines for the new, unnecessary $100 million-plus high school.

  17. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    I’m glad somebody is taking note of the School Board….Enough is enough of Rothstein, what is he doing out and about drinking martini’s???

  18. Mr. Jay says:

    Now if we can get rid of Dinnen, Parks and the rest of the crew things would be great! A new broom will sweep clean! Hopefully this is the beginning of new blood!

  19. Hammerhead says:

    Marko will ultimately go down in Broward history as the “Great Facilitator” regarding the multi-decade fraud perpetrated to benefit himself, lobbyists, contractors, other attorneys and the many dirty board members who participated.

    That does not mean that they have all been dirty, but suffice to say that the past board members who have not been on the take are but a handful.

    For all of you people who believe that Marko is a man of honesty, integrity and transparency; you are truly uninformed. He is an integral piece of allowing this stuff to occur in public view and to give it a sense of credibility by stating that he has reviewed the deals. Meanwhile when a deal goes (publicly) bad, Marko spins it into a misunderstanding or worse yet…no real problem at all.

    This guy has cost more to the tax payers than any single board member or Garretson. Mark it down. You will see this when the smoke clears……………………

  20. Floridan says:

    If you’re going to show employees the door after just a little more than four decades, how do you expect to attract top-notch talent?

  21. Back To The Future At The School Board: Parks Wants Marko To Stay : says:

    […] My story on the vote is here and some of Marko’s background is here. […]