School Contract Handed To Campaign Contributor Violates Rules





Superintendent Robert Runcie violated School Board policy by handing a $150-an-hour consulting contract to a pro-school bond campaign contributor.



Robert Runcie

Robert Runcie: Gave Contract To Campaign Supporter


Right Management of Fort Lauderdale billed the school system $33,600 less than a month after the contract was signed.

The firm received a recruitment and selection contract on June 19. Its invoice billing the school system $33,600 was sent July 15 and later approved by Runcie.

Runcie personally picked Right Management, a strong supporter of the passage of last year’s $800 million school construction bond referendum.

He awarded them a contract despite School Board policies that stipulate that Runcie’s own non-instructional human relations staff must recruit, select and hire new personnel.

At least one School Board staff member was uncomfortable with breaking the rules. This member and others were reminded that Runcie approved Right Management.

School Board staff members names are being kept confidential to protect them.

Right Management donated $5,000 on Oct. 28, 2014 to the Citizens For Safe & Modern Schools. In addition the firm’s President Tom Shea is an active member of Broward Workshop, which donated $75,000.

The Citizens For Safe & Modern Schools was the vehicle the School Board used to campaign for approval of last year’s $800 million bond referendum.

The stepped-up construction anticipated from the bonds requires new school staff. Runcie hired Right Management to fill 14 positions in the Constructions and Facilities Division.

The firm’s proposal accepted and signed by Runcie outlined a three-prong approach to do the head hunting:


  • Finalize job descriptions and develop job postings.
  • Post the jobs on “relevant job board.” This included advertising the jobs on “Linkedin, CareerBuilder, Indeed, etc.” at an additional cost.
  • Screen the resumes.


School system personnel usually do all these tasks.

Less than a month after the firm was hired, it billed the school system $33,600, according to a July 15 invoice.

Runcie signaled acceptance of the bill by scrawling his signature at the bottom.

The firm’s invoice does not detail what the firm actually did beyond the bare-bones description of “recruitment & selection.”

It is not known if the firm continues to do work for the school system.


The invoice from Right Management (I attempted to obscure the bank routing numbers):

Right Management Billing 2

29 Responses to “School Contract Handed To Campaign Contributor Violates Rules”

  1. Sweet Pea says:

    Wow!!!!! Is this another sweet deal like Messier’s or another real violation of school board policy that is going to be ignored? Runcie’s girls seem to be blind when it comes to his breaking of school board policies. I think his defense will be he had not yet hired a Chief of Human Resources so he did not feel the current staff had the experience to do this. Of course, the new Chief of Human Resources is on the Board Agenda on October 6. I was not surprised to see the new Chief is from Charter. Maybe this person will be able to hire top personnel from the other side. This will not come up at the next board meeting unless one of the members decides to bring it up. Just another day in the Broward School District. Anything goes when you are the Superintendent.

  2. Fed Up says:

    How much longer are Broward County taxpayers doing to put up with the incompetence of this administration? This Superintendent isn’t even able to convince his own administrative staff that he’s doing the right thing. Broward County Schools has become the Titanic and it’s administrators are are leaving like rats escaping a sinking ship.

    To name just a few of the Administrators that have left:
    (3) Chief Facilities Officers,
    (3) Directors of Purchasing,
    (2) Transportation Directors,
    (2) Chief Academic Officer,
    (2) Ex Directors,
    Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief School Performance and Accountability Officer,
    Director of Performance Management,
    Chief Talent Development Officer, several Purchasing Agents,
    Director of HR Info Systems and his Coordinators,
    Systems Engineer,
    Director of Safety,
    Director of Compensation & HR Information Systems,
    Specialist of HR Information Systems,
    Director of Non-Instructional Staffing, just to name a few.

    The multiple School Boards multiple Superintendents, and multiple levels of management have been unable to rectify the on-going corruption that has taken over this District. It’s time that the State of Florida DEO steps in to manage the affairs of the Broward School Board since they have proven that they are unable to do so themselves.

  3. He must have naked pictures says:

    The Super must have nudie pix of the 5 board members that keep giving him high review ratings.

    Dude is sleazy, dirty, corrupt and incompetent.

    I can think of no other reason he has been able to keep his job and get a contract renewal other than a secret file on each of the 5.

  4. Amazing Karnack says:

    Karnack foretold that the train has left the station. Karnack says RunDMC and his hapless harem have created a culture of intimidation and retribution. Karnack says their first priority will be to seek out the whistle blower and punish that person. Karnack says they have completely failed to foster a culture and mutual respect and trust. Karnack says honest employees have grown weary of illegal, and immoral behavior.

    Karnack foretold that as time goes on there will be more and more sad stories like this one. Karnack says the house of cards is crumbling around them. Karnack says RunDMC will not be here to see bond money spent. Karnack says his failure to be an honest leader with integrity and accountability cause him to leave just as his predecessors did, in disgrace with no positive accomplishments to point to. Karnack says the train has left the station. Karnack says the train goes clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack.

  5. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    I think this will be the last time I comment on School Board issues because the situation is clear as can be.

    l. If Federal Funds are involved critics should complain to the US Departmental I.G.,
    2. If Bond Funds are involved they should contact the SEC or Bond oversight agency
    3. If the complains are POLITICAL they should either a). set up a PAC or b). run for a School Board seat.

    If someone isn’t willing to file complaints or run for office or put up money they should STOP WASTING READERS OF THIS BLOGS TIME!

  6. Broward Lawyer says:

    Very good article Buddy. This conduct is very wrong.

    There were sixteen work days in that time period and they billed $33,600 which equals 224 hours at the $150 hourly rate. That’s fourteen hours each and every day to post job descriptions and screen resumés.

    I think this time there should be an investigation into grand theft. Based on the amount it’s a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. There’s also a conspiracy angle to the charge.

  7. Blind, Deaf and Dumb says:

    Runcie’s Gals are blind, deaf and dumb to his continued misappropriation of funds and malfeasance in office. He violates rules, Buddy says. He really violates state law every day and not one of his Runcie’s Gals call him on it. We need an investigation NOW.

  8. Mike Drummer says:

    The School Board didn’t read the December 18 Sun-Sentinel?
    “The rate for Broward County, 74.2 percent, was down from last year’s 75.3 percent.”
    Runcie is a failure in construction. He is a failure in student achievement. He is a failure in management.

  9. Nick Sakhnovsky says:

    With an invoice spelling “behavior” as “behavoir,” confidence in the quality of their $33,600 services is not bolstered. Normal invoices should include the personnel and hourly rates and more precise description of services; this one really doesn’t pass the smell test on any level.

  10. carolina says:

    I know one “nudie pix” he does not have – Nora Rupert. Nora has been firm, from the beginning of “Runcie’s Reign”, on her thoughts as related to our kids, teachers, & schools. She wants the best for all three & is to be commended for her ability to speak out on their behalf. We need more like her on the school board. She is a true GEM.


    Heather Brinkworth has also been skeptical of Runcie’s shenahigens.

  11. Disgusted says:

    Disgusted, however, not at all surprised. So the SuperINcompetent of Broward County Schools paid an outside company $33,600 to do a job that his HR Department is paid to do? And not just any recruitment company but one that was a main contributor to his bond referendum campaign. So in addition to the Capital dollars and the 800 million dollar bond money that’s just sitting in an account somewhere (probably in an offshore account) we have another $33,600 that will not have any impact on our schools or students.
    We all see before us the corrupt politician that hires his friends to do his dirty work. We all see the man that can’t keep administrative staff in place because no one wants to work for him. Well, I shouldn’t say no one. There are other evil incompetent people just clawing at the chance to join the man that manages to stay above the law.
    Speaking of which, I predict that Good ole cover up Val will probably be the next Chief of School Performance and ZERO Accountability Officer. No one else is more unethical or more qualified to run this district deeper into the ground than Runcie’s girl Wanza. Let’s all hope that my prediction is wrong because judging from the above comments, it seems as though people think it can’t possibly get any worse. Brace yourselves people. If the Board allows this man to remain on the Dias much longer, all of those vacancies mentioned above will be filled by more corrupt, incompetent puppets.


    $33,600 equals roughly 66 well equipped iPads for students and teachers.

  12. Andy says:

    This appears to be a preposterous amount based on hrs/day. If so, the issue is not size of this payment but its approval by Runcie. If illegal, then Broward State’s Attorney should prosecute immediately. If nothing else, how many textbooks would this purchase for those classes which still are short? How about 10 classes worth!

  13. Peter McIntosh says:

    I believe the “crime” worthy of prosecution by Broward State’s Attorney Office, is the lack of adequate communications between the previous Chief Facility Officer and the Talent Acquisition & Operations Dept.

    The HR Dept. is usually charged with the responsibility performing the functions of advertising and shortlisting the candidates for interviews and ultimate employment.

    The math is also a little inconsistent in regards to the campaign contributions and the appearance of a “Kick Back”.

    So if the firm’s President Tom Shea who an active member of Broward Workshop, then donates $75,000 to get a contract that is worth $33,000 in addition to the fact that Right Management also donated $5,000 on Oct. 28, 2014 to the Citizens For Safe & Modern Schools – then he is still in the hole for $42,000 plus $5,000 – not a very shroud businessman.

    It is not unusual for national talent searches to be contracted out to professional recruiters (Head Hunters) by huge organizations and corporations.

    The fees for the services is not necessarily calculated on an hourly basis but in fact, some “Head Hunters’” fees are calculated based on the annual salary of the employees to be recruited.

    The scandal in my view is the lack of communication between the CFO and the Talent Acquisition & Operations Dept.

    The CFO created the appearance of impropriety for an activity that is truly legitimate.

    The CFO failed as a good manager for the lack of people skills, and the demonstrated arrogance of circumventing and bullying the system and standard procedures.

    In the private sector this trait and behavior might be considered an acceptable but clearly, in the Public Sector, governed by the Florida Sunshine laws, it is not.

  14. Who Got the $$$$$$$ says:

    The Octogenarian Broward State Attorney Michael Satz will do nothing to ferret out corruption, it’s not his style. Satz is a protector of the political class and law enforcement. Too bad Satz can’t be arrested for resisting without violence.


    Satz is not an “octogenarian.” He’s 72.

  15. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    #4 -RUn DMC-that was a really racist comment towards the Super. The only reason you stated that is because he is Black(cheap shot). For God Sake I believe his daughter attends Harvard. If this Super is being shady as is indicated time/time again. petition the school bd. Its there job to oversee him. They and they alone are the only body that can terminate him. This attack on him (Run dmc and his crew-come on….)

  16. Buddy says:


    To @13 and others:

    The buck stops with Superintendent Robert Runcie. He is the head of the staff.

    The school system widely distributed a new method for hiring in February. Hiring this consultant violated that new policy, which was forwarded to Runcie among others.

  17. Still Disgusted says:

    #13 He wouldn’t be “in the hole” if Bob could pull off the $33,600 without anyone questioning. Trust me, if this was never brought to light, there would be more contracts going out to his company.
    Again, as long as the Board allows him to sit on the Dias, he will find another way to pay them back. He’ll find a way to run out every competent employee only to replace them with one of his “favors.” Without strong competent leaders in key positions, any good programs this district has left will not survive. If the main goal of the Board is to allow this man to completely destroy this district, you’re on your way to a successful year!
    So back to something I hear every day, “When are we going to see this bond money going back to our schools?” Oh silly people, keep holding your breath! That $33,600 pay off, without the boards knowledge, could’ve put some nice computers in your kids schools.

  18. "Talent Search" says:

    I had to laugh at the phrase “talent search” in the same paragraph regarding Runcie’s hiring. Please refer back to the above vacancies. If he can handle a payout and hire a Chicago buddy without it coming from his own HR department then he’s killed two birds with one stone. Stop trying to find loopholes and make excuses for someone who is a proven liar. How many times do you need to catch him in a lie or violating policy before you realize he’s a criminal and HE’S THE PROBLEM!! Look around at the state of this district!

  19. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    I bet one Vespanian denarius not one person who complains files a complaint with the State Attorney

  20. carolina says:

    Thank you, Buddy, for giving me Heather’s name – I was not aware of her. I now have two Gems on the board – Nora & Heather. YOU GO, GIRLS !

  21. Superintendent Approval says:

    People are hired in violation of School Board Policy, with the vacant position not advertised, no interviews held for the vacant position but someone hired. When identified and brought forward, the response “IT was Approved by the Superintendent”.
    The hire and policy violation is performed by a high level manager.

    Questions; does Superintendent Approval waive or override the policy violation; has the manager as commenter #4 (Karnack) says failed to be an honest leader with integrity and accountability?

  22. Frank says:

    Anybody who wants to trade me $33,000 for $5,000 I’ll do it any day of the week, every day of the week. Everybody is adding on the $75,000 but that was Other People’s Money. Out of pocket, he is still $28,000 positive.

  23. Tamarac Talk says:


    This is why it’s of utmost importance that Nora Rupert is nominated as our next Vice Chair in November and those that are too cowardly or vindictive to do so should be voted out. It’s either her or Abby Freedman. It’s Nora’s turn and she has proven herself an independent thinker and a leader. Tell your board member and at large member to nominate Nora this November.

  24. Aztecace says:

    I love how the school board regardless of who is in power continually shoot themselves in the foot, from overpaying for property which later turns out not to be usuable to members who vote for health coverage for the teachers that turn out to be too expensive to cover family, to this latest breach of public trust. What’s bad is even though no teacher had a hand in it, they will end up with the fuzzy end of the lollipop when it comes to money for them, no one will trust the board, and in turn the teachers.

  25. Peter McIntosh says:

    Your comment @ # 16 – The school system widely distributed a new method for hiring in February. Hiring this consultant violated that new policy, which was forwarded to Runcie among others.

    The link you provided is not Board Policy but in fact it is staff procedure. Staff procedures can be overridden by the Superintendent at his discretion.

    Yes I agree with your statement that the Buck stops with Superintendent Robert Runcie. He is the head of the staff.

  26. Chaz Stevens, MAOS says:

    But … but … but…

    If Abby Freedman is put in charge, she’ll be able to bring all those years working at the Pentagon to muster.

    Who knows, we might end up with a fleet of ships or a squadron of attack drones!

    When you think good governance, think Abby Hoffman.

    I mean Freedman.

    * Pentagon, the name of a WV based convenience store.

  27. Peter Moquin Runcie Griffin says:

    Thank you “Peter McIntosh” for “enlightening” the readers. So let’s forget the fact that the Superintendent has repeatedly FAILED to follow policy, and has actually had many of his poor decisions overturned by administrative law judges. Now you’re saying that it’s not in fact policy that he’s choosing to ignore, but “staff procedures.” Well that’s wonderful that the Head of Staff thought that it would be in the best interest of BCPS to not use the HR department that he pays for this service, but rather contract out to a pro-school bond campaign contributor for $33,600. That really cleared up this whole debacle and brought us back to “transparency.” Was Bobs attorney drinking and driving again when he found this loophole? Still a liar and a criminal but I appreciate when insiders try to put a positive spin on his illegal activities.

  28. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Which is worse – that no one who complains actually files a complaint with the State Attorney or US Attorney or any Federal I.G. – or that failed businessmen go on and on with double talk to cover up for the Board of Education living the stinking feeling they are contractors or sub-contracts or employed somewhere in the Board of Education mess? Two Vespanian denarii now if anyone who blogs or complains files an official protest or complaint!

  29. ABCs says:

    In 2012, Rick Scott named Craig J Nichols DMS secretary, and the announcement said Nichols was a consultant for Right Management.

    “Since 2010, Nichols has been an independent consultant assisting Right Management Inc. with talent management and leadership development.”

    Nichols is the new Chief HR and Equity Officer for Broward Schools. The Broward announcement mentions nothing about Nichols having been a consultant for Charter Schools USA.