Update: School Board Member Dinnen Not Running



Veteran School Board member Maureen Dinnen announced today she is not running for re-election.


Law enforcement agencies are examining the records of construction projects in Dinnen’s distrist, but it is not known if that had anything to do with Dinnen’s decision not to run.

“I have taken the past year to mull over the future, and I have decided that I want to move on, to do something else, to get started on career number four. To that end, I will not seek re-election to the Broward School Board for District 3 or any other School Board seat this November,” she said at the School Board meeting Wednesday.

Dinnen represents central Broward from Plantation to downtown Fort Lauderdale.

A former president of the state teacher’s union and former teacher, Dinnen has been a School Board member since 2004.

Her departure from the race leaves the field open for Katie Leach, a School Board member appointed last year by Gov. Rick Scott who is switching districts to run in central Broward.  There is another candidate in the race, teacher Michael Levinson, but he is not seen as a serious candidate at this point having raised only $1,685 over almost two years.

Political sources expect at least one other candidate to enter the race now that Dinnen has withdrawn.

Although the elections are non-partisan, Leach is a Republican and believed it is easier for her to be elected to Dinnen’s seat than the one Scott appointed her to fill. The seat was originally created for Republican Judie Budnick, who moved out of Broward.

A fierce defender of the business and education policies at the School Board, Dinnen  railed against the wave of critics who complained that members were out of touch and wasted money. At one meeting she broke down in tears defending herself against charges that she steered business to a company run by members of her family.

With the departure of Dinnen, only Robin Bartleman, Ann Murray and Ben Williams remain from the Board that was sharply criticized by a statewide Grand Jury just a year ago.

“We cannot imagine any level of incompetence that would explain what we have seen,’’ the Grand Jury stated. “Therefore we are reluctantly compelled to conclude that at least some of this behavior can best be explained by corruption of our officials, by contractors, vendors and their lobbyists.’’

Dinnen felt the report was unfair and overlooked the positive achievements the school system made.  She took the report personally.

Also Dinnen, 71, was not anxious to defend herself against a Leach campaign that would have certainly tied her to the Grand Jury report and other allegations of corruption. She may have felt that such a campaign would stain her reputation and could be a unpleasant, painful end to her 50-year career in education.

“At 71, you want to go to the mailbox and get your Social Security check.  You don’t want to go to the mailbox and see a flyer calling you corrupt,” said one political consultant.

7 Responses to “Update: School Board Member Dinnen Not Running”

  1. Str8 Talk says:

    Good! Now we need to get Bartleman off this eletcion cycle because she is running against ane experienced administrator. Ben Williams will be off in Nov because either Alston/Lynch/Osgood will win. Murray will not win in 2014 because her “N word” comments will come back bif time!

  2. Veltri's BBQ sauce says:

    Oh wowza, the candidates will come out of the proverbial woodwork. Does Paul Eichner or Shelly Eichner live in the district? Pete Tingum is a former principal. Plantation mayor Diane Veltri Bendeckoich is a former teacher.

  3. school maven says:

    Dinnen will end up the Tallahassee lobbyist for the School Board. Mark my words.

  4. CATO says:

    Do not put Robin Bartleman in that bag of ineffectual, misguided, lobbying for their favorite campaign/school/developer bag of school board members!

    She is the only one, who is honest; attends all the community meetings; hears what parents & community members say; follows thru; means what she says and looks out for all students, even the minority, special kids! She needs to stay to keep the others honest.

  5. Mr. G says:

    Guess BTUseless is losing it’s power! After all Maureen was put their as their plant with a few others in the past. Guess with all the problems with BTUeless they are losing their power fast.
    Bye Bye Maureen and thanks for nothing!

  6. Dinnen endorses says:

    I hear Michael Levinson has the endorsement of Maureen Dinnen.

  7. Real Deal says:

    Robin Bartleman is a milquetoast polician afraid of her own shadow. She knew about the corruption in the school district and did nothing about it. She wasn’t on the take herself but she made no effort to stop it. Her agenda has clearly been to survive from one election cycle to the next. Politicians come in two basic flavors. Those blazing trails toward meaningful progress and the rest who are useless and only concerned about themselves. You decide which category Bartleman falls into.