State Attorney Blasts Broward Schools For Failing To Fix Construction Problems




Call it a broken promise by the Broward School Board and Superintendent Robert Runcie. 

A big, big, big broken promise.

The Broward State Attorney’s Office this week blasted the Broward school system for failing to fix its flawed building department despite repeated pledges by Board members and Runcie that the problems have been eliminated.

“Bad habits” and “management issues” in school construction, issues “raised in the Final Report of the Nineteenth Statewide Grand Jury in January of 2011 continue to be present within the Broward County Public Schools,” a stinging report from the State Attorney’s Office said.

The report warned the school system to “continue to review its management practices to insure that all construction projects are handled in a transparent and professional manner.”

The highly critical language was buried within a close-out memo clearing Ronald Morgan, an assistant chief building official for the Broward Schools.

But it is not the Morgan case, which investigated an incident in early 2015, that is most interesting to School Board observers. What is striking is the very deliberate, pointed criticism by the State Attorney’s Office of the practices of the building department.

Ron Ishoy, spokesman for the State Attorney’s Office, said the language was carefully considered and was reviewed by State Attorney Mike Satz. 

“We are very, very careful with the language we use,” Ishoy said.


ron ishoy

Ron Ishoy


Morgan had been accused of falsifying records in the issuance of a building permit for a demolition project at Blanche Eli High School.

A joint State Attorney’s Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation found no criminal violation had occurred.

Was the inclusion of FDLE in the investigation an indication that a wider look at the school system was planned?

“FDLE and the State Attorney’s Office are both state agencies.  We work together on a variety of cases,” Ishoy said, adding that one “minor” case remains under investigation at the school system.

Morgan had earlier pleaded no contest and received probation to a misdemeanor for issuing a Certificate of Occupancy after his provisional Chief Building Official license had lapsed.

The comments came after years of assurances from the School Board and Superintendent Robert Runcie that the management problems highlighted in the Grand Jury report were in the past.

Obviously, the State Attorney’s Office doesn’t believe that the problems raised by grand jurors have been resolved.

The scathing statewide Grand Jury report four years ago blasted the Broward schools construction and facilities for widespread inefficiency and management missteps:

“A great deal of taxpayer money spent on this (school) construction has been wasted as the direct result of the Board’s interference and self dealing as well as a result of their failure to engage in any meaningful oversight of the District’s building activities….”

“…We cannot imagine any level of incompetence that would explain what we have seen,’’ the report 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.’’

“…The solution for many departments is to simply add more staff, give the critical work to the new employees and move the incompetent and lazy to another less desirable job or location, or left at the job but given little or nothing to do…” the Grand Jury found.

It went on and on for 51 pages and made key recommendations, few of which were adopted.

Among those that the School Board refused to accept were cutting the size of the Board to five from nine, prohibiting campaign contributions from anyone doing business with the Board and allowing the Broward Inspector General to monitor the business practices and ethics at the school system.


The close out memo can be found here:



Linked here is an original newspaper story concerning the Grand Jury.

30 Responses to “State Attorney Blasts Broward Schools For Failing To Fix Construction Problems”

  1. MoreBS says:

    More of the same. Useless.

  2. Senior PMS says:

    Well sports fans this latest report is like hearing crap stinks, rice is white, or there’s gambling in Casablanca. The entire world wants to scream out no sh_t. So I want to be able to provide those sporting individuals out there with the latest Las Vegas odds on any positive change at the school board. They tell me the latest odds are better that dinosaurs will roam the earth again before things change at SBBC. I have to agree, my money is on the dinosaurs.

    Other interesting Vegas odds are 50/50 on Peter coming out with well no laws were broken what’s the problem. Or let’s wait and give everything and everyone more time. At the rate things don’t change at SBBC we could see peace in the middle east first. All of this would be Funny except it is true and therefore just sad.

  3. Enough is Enough says:

    As a parent of two children that attend public school, all I can say is “how long must it go on before we are rid of this corrupt bunch of thieves?” Yes, I mean you, school board members and Runcie! I am not an insider and don’t know the ins and outs of the political BS that goes on, but I do know that our schools are suffering, our children’s education is suffering, and it is time for this group of self-serving, garbage spewing jackasses to go. Anything has got to be better! What do we, as fed up citizens, have to do to get someone official to pay attention and do something. My God, how much longer are they going to be allowed to continue what they’re doing

  4. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    What is the point of Grand Juries if nothing is done? I assume the State Attorney n his staff found no voilations of law they cwould prosecute so where have things changed? The Grand Jury was in 2011 i read BUT THE SAME BOARD MEMBERS WERE RE-ELECTED AFTERWARDS

    You know what is the FAILING OF THE MEDIA and ACTIVISTS? No one explains what you can figure out from google – why n how the sleazoids got elected or the details people like Buddy Nevins probably know WHY did Margate enable Abby Freeman to win n why Parkland did not manage to defeat her with Mayersohn.

  5. Barry Silver says:

    At some point in time this School Board has got to realize that Runcie has sold them a bill of goods. He says that everything is fixed. It isn’t. What more proof do they need?

  6. Las Olas Lawyer says:

    Knowing the SAO actors intimately I can assure readers to this blog that Satz having written what he did is very meaningful. He is not one to criticize without solid proof. The criticism might be tame. It is a warning that the superintendent and School Board had better heed. Satz is telegraphing that if they don’t clean up their act he will take further action.

  7. Tigger says:

    Knowing the SAO actors intimately, I can assure you that this stern warning will amount to nothing. Satz is a paper tiger only striking out at a perceived weak targets at the school board to grab political points during election season.

    His finger wagging is the pot calling the kettle black. Especially since Satz does not know anything about what’s cooking in his own shop. When was the last time he, rather than his mouthpiece, utter any public comment or offer leadership on an issue? Satz is a carefully managed, orchestrated and handle shell of what you believe him to be!

  8. Who Got the $$$$$$$ says:

    In the second forty years of his career.

  9. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Ok, you want to dump dr rosalind osgood despite her power base in the Baptist centric Black community? Tell the gays n Lesbians she is a Minister in a Faith that preaches criminalizing homosexual conduct tell the professional women she is Minister in a Faitb that wants to outlaw a womans right to control her own body n tell the Jewish community she has a website n is a Minister that wants to convert Jews. Then you could defeat her in my neighborhood but it would dplit south middle river on racial
    Religious n class. Who seriously wants to open that Pandora’s Box?
    So to get rid of runcie Levinson Murray Korn n Freedman have to be canned because there it just getti g the Jews n Irish from voting for
    People who are dumb at best

  10. JW says:

    Mr. CA, see fifth paragraph, …are handled in a TRANSPARENT and professional manner.
    I maintain the hire was not transparent and no one from the School System or the general public could apply or even knew of the vacant position as the vacancy was not advertised.

    In your email response you say “The Human Resource Department routinely selects more than one candidate when a position is advertised and there is a pool of interviewed, qualified candidates”. Key word is ADVERTISED. The initial email to you says twelve (12) times, the position was not advertised. Re-visit that email. Better yet, re-visit that hiring process. Position added to Org Chart on the 4th, he was recommended for hire on the 11th. When was that position (vacancy) advertised? When were candidates interviewed for that position?

    This article mentions a Grand Jury Report of 2011. I am talking about an issue of a more recent date.

    A close-out memo clearing Ronald Morgan… That is refreshing to hear.

  11. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    It’s highly unlikely that any large, complex school district without an empowered CEO could effectively run any large scale construction and maintenance program without the kind of political and bureaucratic disruptions that negativewly impact upon the price, time and quality and cost of construction. There’s simply too much which remains unchecked at stake that will affect those factors.

    Cost will go up, projects will be slowed down, and to make up the difference, quality will suffer. This is predictable and we’ve seen it before.

    Over 20 years ago, NYC got sick and tired of this reality and addressed it by creating a separate, independent yet coordinating School Construction Authority. They were tremendously successful and have managed billions of dollars in projects ranginf rom the building of new schools to the renovation and modernization of existing ones. They have their own office of the Inspector General and their own Auditor General to oversee what they do and make sure it’s done honestly.

    SCA succeeded and their pojects were typically completed ahead of schedule, below budget and with excellent quality. That’s what you look for in a well run construction effort.

    Now, we can either be arrogant about it, ignore what works elsewhere and become the victims of a history all too predictable. Or we can be enlightened about it, learn from the hard lessons of history, and forge a new and better future.

    There is such a thing as just too large and complicated to succceed. And there’s also such a thing as national best practices.



  12. M.I.A. Satz says:

    The only reason why this warning letter was sent to the School Board: Satz is running for re-election.

    Since Satz is up for election, I predict there will be a high profile arrest of a “corrupt” government official (possibly from School Board) Followed by a lengthy delay to the actual trial. Then the inevitable “NOT GUILTY” verdict.

    Satz’s Public Corruption Unit will never get an actual conviction because PCU jobs don’t depend upon convictions of corrupt government officials but upon Satz’s re-election.

  13. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Commissioner Castillo knows nothing about government in New York City where I served as a political n elected official n received a City Council Commissioner appointment. The Construction Authority was a lesser point in the termination of elected local school boards n an appointed by Boro Presidents Citywide School Board. The Commissioner doesn’t the difference between a mouse n an elephant in this case.

  14. juliet hibbs says:

    Why are they not proceeding? Prosecuting? I mean from what I can see, Runcie and that criminal leadership used the grand jury’s finding to do the opposite within the system. More cover ups, more games, more wasted money, the hiring of MOTR useless people that do nothing except cost the people of Broward! And the cost is so much more than just $$!
    If something doesn’t change QUICKLY! Broward will look like Detriot in 10-15 years. Broward Schools is the #1 employer for Broward!!! So, no money (due to spending money for nothing), general staff wages don’t even keep up with cost of living (so increasing the poverty rate), will lead to a mass exodus from Broward (it has begun), so in the end unqualified staff. So kids WON’T be properly educated.
    Just THIS year, schools opened with 5% substitute teachers. Historically this is around 1%. The public.records department wont even fill the request for accurate numbers. This doesnt include.the no show teachers either. Them ads that more teacher’s with special certificates (since they are not qualified to teach what they are). The falsify numbers (antibullying numbers and student safety reports are a joke….students, parents and staff abused into not reporting so Runcie can look better!
    Broward Schools is all smoke and mirrors!

  15. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    @12: Spot on. I took proof of fraud as pointed out by the Office of the Chief Auditor to Satz. I had a meeting with an ASA. The auditor who uncovered the fraud met with him as well.

    The ASA’s wife worked(s) for the district. Satz’ campaign manager was (is) Barbara Miller, close buddies with the lobbyist who touted the firm mentioned in the audit.

    I got a letter telling me “that’s how the Board does business” i.e., nothing to see here, move on.

  16. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:


    If the voters elect a Board that accepts unqualified employees there is no crime. If everyone lies during a Bond Campaign there would only be a “issue” – civil or crimminal – if there were written false statements under oath in the registration of the Bonds not during the Bond Campaign before they were issued.
    Not spending money hiring maintenance may all be scandalous n hurting the students but they are NOT CRIMES!
    The County School Board is rotten but being rotten is a management n political problem NOT COVERED BY THE CRIMINAL CODE. Sad, regretable. deplorable BUT NOT CRIMINAL.

  17. JW says:

    Ms Hibbs, #14 – I differ with your comment “More cover ups”. There is no need for cover ups within the Broward School District.

    Individuals who identify and report policy violations, illicit acts and fraud are chastised, criticized and demonized, while the perpetrator of the illicit acts is celebrated and held in high esteem. Supports and co conspirators of the perpetrator see the perpetrator as the victim and see the one who identifies and reports the illicit acts as the perpetrator. That is School Board/District culture and like any dangerous disease, many get infected.

    No “cover up” is needed. The philosophy and message from The Superintendent, The Board and high level management is “Screw you all, I (we) do what I (we) want and there is nothing you can do about it”.

  18. Peter McIntosh says:

    This investigation by the State Attorney’s Office is refreshing, in that it found no criminal intent by the Assistant Chief Building Official. In fact, it appears that the vigilance of concerned individuals alerting the SAO of a possible violation is evidence that the systems of scrutiny works.

    It is abundantly clear that the recently resigned Chief Facility Officer, Derek Messier is to be held accountable for the events triggering the concerns of the investigation. What is also refreshing is that the CFO accountable for Mr. Satz”s observations is no longer in the SBBC system. Messier may not have been fully aware of the findings of the Grand Jury Reports of the recent past and thus made similar mistakes in management decisions.

    Let us look forward and keep the vigilance on the execution of the Bond Program by the new administration.


    Supintendent Robert Runcie hired Derek Messier. I believe he was one of his buddies from Chicago.

  19. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:

    Dear Count:

    Actually, I am a former Auditor General of the NYC School Construction Authority sharing a professional observation designed to help make Broward County a better place. It’s natural that I would have such suggestions as I’ve served over 30 years as a government executive. Serious people ask my advice about government all the time. In fact, it’s been suggested that I could make a pretty decent living just doing that and perhaps one day I will.

    In contrast sir, I have no clue who you are but for sure you never worked in any executive capacity for the City of New York. Or in any elected one that I can recall. I’m pretty sure such a thing would still be remembered and remarked upon.



    I might add that Angelo has worked in high executive positions in both Broward County government and for the federal government. He knows government. It doesn’t mean his opinions always the Gospel, but at least they are formed by a knowledgable person.

  20. MoreBS says:

    If ignoring policy and being lied to and being disrespected in Public on TV in front of your constituents and colleagues is not enough for the Leading Ladies to take action, then this School Board has no integrity and no backbone. Get out.

  21. MoreBS says:

    Satz sucks. Just more of the same…empty threats. We need the FED’s.

  22. Plz ask says:

    Ms. Charlotte, did you ask Mr. Pat Reilly for a copy of the email and response? I would be interested in your analysis of the email but more particular your analysis of his response.

    My question to you, “is Dreck Dreck regardless of who initiates or carries it out”?

  23. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Considering I have several archives in research institutions which are esily accessesed on google I leave it to others to comment on an international career in government historical research n historical preservation n New York City politics.
    But again, I can think of nothing that Commissioner Castillo has written that helps make government more efficient or productive.
    And my memory is the NYC Construction Authority was not the oucture of efficiency but it has been decades since I discussed their problems with Paul Crotty the late great Tony Gliedman or Denny Farrwell or that big guy who ran things for Ed Koch n went into Hospital Management let alone my old Rabbis Frank Rosetti n Carmine DeSapio or the late Ted Weiss or still fighting Jerry Nadler or Scott Stringer or Carolyne Mahoney when she n Virginia Fields was on tge NYC Council or for that matter former Governor Patterson or now Governor Cuomo before he entered politics or Henry Stern, none of whom were exactly in love with the fiscal management of the more loved before it existed NYC Construction Authority!

  24. PandaBear says:

    Count Chizchodwiskeywhateveryourname is:

    Do you happen, by any chance, sir, to speak English or anything like it? Every time I read your gobbledygook I need to hire an interpreter! Nobility should know better.

  25. PandaBear says:

    Count Chuzkewhiskeywhatever:
    Do you, by any chance, happen to speak English or anything like it? I can’t go broke over you! Every time I attempt reading one of your posts I end up having to hire an interpreter. Nobility should know better!

  26. Same ol Same ol says:

    Broward gets what Broward deserves…you dopes keep electing crooks and career politicians who simply love to suck the public teat. They have no desire to improve the system. Status quo enriches them. Dump them all and start over.

  27. Same ol Same ol says:

    and if they moved here from NY or Chicago, they know how to play the “steal from the dopey public” game.

  28. A concerned citzen says:

    Someone should have the State Attorney come in and investigate the entire School Board Members and the people Runcie has hired. (plus all the people that have left!) It is such a shame that the people on top who have NOTHING to do with schools make the most money! While teachers, principals, clerical workers, custiodans make the least. They make the unions, who have no power, take a 2.2% raise for everyone across the board. And what do is they say take it or you will get NOTHING! While the top get 22% raises. Now Runcie is out sourcing everything, they hire people from Chicago which has been crooked since the 1920’s. And is one of the worst school system’s.
    They make changes to the School board agenda the night before so no one shows up for what is really important. There is so much nepotism within the hiring of employees.

    Broward county should be ashamed of itself. The way it looks to me is that there will be three school systems in Broward. The rich will go to Private Schools. The in between will put in for Charter Schools. And all the bad kids will go to public school.

  29. PsndaBear says:

    Same ol Same ol & A concerned citzen see the light. Glad I’m not alone…

  30. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Panda bear n other cowards r useless trash almost always in South Florida lobbyists for sleazy over developments or bloated invoice creating Government contractors! Honest men n women do t blog with fake names PERIOD. And this is the last time I reply to a blog with a coward’s fake name