Supintendent Runcie Defends Stonewalling On Insider Deals






A lot of things come to mind when I see the stonewalling.

There is Bill Clinton’s smokescreen about Monica Lewinsky: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

There is President Richard Nixon’s Watergate cry: “People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.”

And then there is the Broward School Board bureaucrats’ answer last week to a lawful public records request.

Here is the request made unanimously by the citizens advisory Diversity Committee at a meeting last month. This is from the agenda (click to enlarge):







Here is the answer, which clearly doesn’t fulfill the request for “all information”:

IMG952646 copy






The school staff might have believed they were so clever to hand out this vague answer. But it raises further disturbing questions.

Like whether School Board employees (“employed?”) received contracts?  And what does “Affilate” mean?

According to one source, as much as $15 million in grants were under the control of the staff members in charge of the Diversity Committee.  “We have no idea what happened to it,” one source told Browardbeat.

Here is the back story:

Shocked by the revelation that two members had quietly received a no-bid $500-a-day consulting contract, the citizens advisory Diversity Committee demanded to see if there were any other such deals.

Micky Pope, the chief of support services, rejected an unanimous motion of the school system’s citizen Diversity Committee that she provide information about all contracts she signed.

Instead she provided the Committee last week with the insulting, meaningless evasion above.

And guess who was at the meeting to defend Pope and the lack of transparency:

Superintendent Robert Runcie.

One outraged member said Runcie attended “definitely to support” Pope.

Runcie told the committee that mistakes were made with the insider contracts, but it was time to put the incidents in the past.

Runcie is the same guy who wants us to vote him up to $1 billion more to spend.  He wants us to trust him to spend that money wisely.

I got another quote for Runcie, this one from Ronald Reagan: “Trust but verify.”

Open your books, Mr. Runcie!

Let’s see how Ms. Pope spent the public’s money.  What other inside deals did she cut? How much money was handed out to her friends?

But here is the key question:

Why doesn’t Robert Runcie want the public to see how the public’s money is spent?



Here is an earlier story on is here and here and here. 

8 Responses to “Supintendent Runcie Defends Stonewalling On Insider Deals”

  1. Broward Resident says:

    Buddy, I hope you are keeping an eye on this item on The School Board Agenda this week:

    Agreement for Professional Services – Jacobs Project Management Co. – Facilities Needs Assessment – Project Number P.001595

    Approve the use of the contract between Jacobs Project Management Co. and the Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD) and authorize the Task Assigned Chief Facilities and Construction Officer to expend $1,269,783 for Facilities Needs Assessment Services.

    The scope of this project is to conduct a comprehensive facilities condition and educational adequacy assessment of the District’s facilities for the purpose of obtaining an objective status of physical and functional educational and administrative plant deficiencies. The data collected will provide the basis of current and future capital planning efforts. Jacobs Project Management Co., a national leader in facility needs assessments, will provide professional staff, expertise, guidance, training, and lead a team comprised of District subject matter experts in this collaborative data collection process.

    The scope of services is further explained in the attached Executive Summary (Exhibit 1) and as set forth in the Agreement for Professional Services between Jacobs Project Management Co. and the FBISD (Exhibit 2).

    The financial impact is $1,269,783. The source of these funds is already identified in the Adopted District Educational Facilities Plan, Page 65 – Facilities/Capital Salaries & Program Management Fees.

  2. Nick Sakhnovsky says:

    Every element requested is a public record; a public records request is not necessary in the normal course of business for advisory committees. There is no reason not to be complete and forthcoming, and I presume that a complete answer will be coming soon.

  3. Rico Petrocelli says:

    This apparent attempt to quell the issue at hand only made it worse. Runcie should have never shown up, and as a result, it now brings even more attention to this “No Bid” favoritism, friendship, or maybe a relative receiving Tax Money issue. Possibly Criminal too…

    FSS 119 is pretty clear about public records, and the request was clear, yet the answer has not been met, so go back and do it again, correctly this time.

    They(SBBC)knew exactly what the Board wanted!Something up??? Makes it look that way..

    Transparency in Government creates Trust, aversion to the Truth, well it creates doubt and questions the reasons. you know: Why This? Why That?, Who did This? Who did That?..why why why????

    $1 Billion Bond?????……with this continuing over and over?….Not!

    Rico Petrocelli

  4. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    All eye’s are on you Mr.Runcie. I don’t think he is sweatin. He comes from Chicago need I say more.( Mr.Runcie don’t you find Rahm Emanuel annoying?

  5. Nick Sakhnovsky says:

    The School Board attorney, in a memo dated March 10, 2010, stated that Florida Statutes Section 112.313(3)”prohibits public officers, when acting in a private capacity, from renting, leasing or selling any realty, goods, or services to the public officer’s own agency…this prohibition applies to any and all transactions…” In addition Florida Statutes Section 112.313(7) “prohibits them from having or holding any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between their private interests and the performance of their public duties or that would impede the full and faithful discharge of their public duties.”
    Waivers can be made “after a full disclosure of the transaction or relationship and an affirmative vote by two-thirds of The School Board.”
    The memo was written in connection with another advisory group, the Facilities Task Force, but it is not unreasonable to think that it would apply to the diversity committee as well.

  6. Memories says:

    It is the same old coverup. Remember Andrew Green and how he was smeared when the school staff revealed his medical records to the newspapers to help Miriam Oliphant win? They denied, denied, denied and eventually it all came out. Same as this. We will find out that somebody’s uncle or brother or friend is making all the grant money.

  7. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    This really concerns me. “Runcie told the committee that mistakes were made with the insider contracts, but it was time to put the incidents in the past.” In order to put the issue past us, we need to investigate the insider contracts and hold those accountable before moving forward. You skipped a step Superintendent Runcie. In order to build confidence in your organization people need to be held accountable.

  8. Kevin Cregan says:

    I agree with Rico and others – the information must be made public under state law. Big mistake for the Superintendent to try to justify not providing it. Just whets everyone’s appetite for the information. Providing only the information they did is both insulting and adds fuel to the fire.