The Bizarro World of Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie





In Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie’s Bizarro World, down is up, wrong is right and audits are not audits.

Not once. Not twice.

Three times Runcie told his bosses on the School Board last week that there had not been an audit of Houston school construction bonds, managed by his new hire Leo Bobadilla.

The bothersome Houston news media were wrong. The irritating Sun-Sentinel was wrong. Skeptics in Broward were wrong.

There was no audit branding Bobadilla’s work in a $2 billion Houston construction bond construction questionable.

It didn’t exist. It never happened in Runcieland.

“There is actually not an audit,” Runcie said at the public meeting.

“There is no formal audit report,” he repeated.

“There..Is..No..Audit,” he insisted a third time, stretching out the pause between each word.  His patience was clearly at an end with his pesky Board critics.

I beg to differ with your, Mr. Runcie. Maybe that is because I can read plain English.

There was an audit. 



ABC13 On Houston Audit



There was an audit.



Click2 Houston on Audit




There was an audit.




Houston Chronicle Use This Shot





Bobadilla was clearly the one responsible for any trouble with the Houston bond referendum, which is faltering. He was the one who answered the audit for the Houston school management.

Here is his responsibilities the Houston schools website:

Leo Bobadilla is the Chief Operating Officer for Houston ISD and is responsible for all Business Operations areas. In this role he provides leadership to a workforce of almost 7,000 employees and administers an annual operating budget of over $250 million. The Business Operations Team oversees construction bond programs totaling more than $3 billion

Yet in some strange spat of stubbornness Runcie continues to whitewash Bobadilla. He distributed another memo justifying his hire over the weekend.

Runcie convinced the usual suspects.

Board member Abby Freedman gushed orgasmicaly and wild eyed at last week’s Board meeting:

“I am so excited! When you read beyond what we were given, I am so excited. He looks like a stellar candidate. And I have to thank the superintendent for again going out and getting the Best of the Best.”

Abby Freedman

Abby Freedman: Eyes Wide Shut Supporter of Runcie



It is important to note that Freedman, who can be counted on to give any proposal by Runcie an ecstatic reception, represents Parkland. That city needed to put its own money in building classrooms because they couldn’t count on Runcie.

What amazes observers is that by his outspoken support of Bobadilla, Runcie has tied his star to this man with a flawed record.

There are so many construction experts in the world. Why pick one who has a questionable past? Especially one with problems that were so public?

The public perception is that the huge Broward construction bond program is troubled. Construction hasn’t started a year after approval of the bonds.

Anybody who cared about what the public thinks would have started construction with some of the millions Broward has in the bank. In front of the new project would have been a sign stating, “Your Bond Dollars At Work.”

That’s Public Relations 101. It is something I understood when I worked for a major PR agency more than a generation ago. It is something Runcie’s high paid PR staff obviously never learned.

Instead Runcie sent home letters filled with misrepresentations to parents last week. The letters justified and excused the year’s delay in the start of bond construction.


Runcie Wearing Out Welcome


That’s Runcie’s MO.  His modus operandi.

In Runcie’s Bizarro World, the truth is expendable.  Responsibility is ducked.  The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here.

Three Board members wear white hats in this mess. Nora Rupert, Heather Brinkworth and Robin Bartleman voted against hiring Bobadilla.

Runcie, however, shouldn’t take much comfort in the five members who voted to approve hiring Bobadilla.

Several members who supported Runcie were publicly lukewarm. Privately they were even more skeptical.

So even some of your Board supporters, Mr. Runcie, will be watching very, very carefully because their careers are on the line.

There is more bad news, Mr. Runcie.

Some of the corporate suits in downtown Fort Lauderdale, who you count on for support, are becoming unsure you are up to the job.

The school’s headquarters building now has more plots to overthrow you than a Shakespeare play.

The handwriting is on the wall, Mr. Runcie. The clock is ticking.

A stumble in the bond construction managed by your hand-picked Bobadilla, and you will be out the door.

I would be dusting off my resume…just in case.





A recent report concerning Bobadilla from Houston can be found here. 




30 Responses to “The Bizarro World of Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie”

  1. Sto says:

    Runcie lied? What a surprise! It is time to fire his ass!

  2. No comment necessary says:

    You’ve really outdone yourself this time Buddy. Everything I wanted to say written right here in black and white. How many lies must the Board catch him in before they realize they are the ones who will be held accountable? “Yes girl Abby” and “Back of the Bus Annie” have always been a lost cause but the rest of you better get him out before there’s another Grand Jury report.
    I’m looking forward to the next Board Meeting where Bob either “apologizes” and fired the Chief of HR or convinces his puppets it’s just another figment of their imagination.


    I would put money on the later.

  3. Sam The Sham says:

    It is interesting that the subject that garners the most attention here on BrowardBeat, (Runcie and the School Board) gets the least action from our elected officials. This has gone on for far too long. An investigation by the Governor’s office, the Broward IG, Mike Satz or even the County Commision is in order. All it would take is one brave politician to stand up and demand results and accountability. He would be a hero.

    You would think that Runcie would hire a competent building manager that has no skeletons in his closet. A well run program would save Runcie’s ass and the Perfumed Princesses on the Skool Board could overlook all of Runcie’s other faults. It is not to be.

    Hiring incompetents, lackeys, stooges and other cronies is typical of one party dictatorships. Something you would expect to see in Soviet Satellite states and Banana Republics. And Chicago. Now we see it here where loyalty trumps ability. Welcome to the Monkey House.

  4. carolina says:

    Liar, liar, pants on fire! Pack your bags mr Runcie – you are on your way back to Chicago WAY BEFORE 2019 – the magic year that was given to you as a contract extension by some board members. I just hate to think that a large portion of the bond funds will be padding your pockets when you go. Do all of us a favor & take the gals who voted for that outlandish extension with you when you go.

  5. Sweet Pea says:

    Buddy, I was disappointed you did not mention how Osgood defended Runcie’s hire. Osgood said she had called and checked out his references. In addition, she said if the hire was not good, she will hold the superintendent accountable. Does that mean now since everyone knows there is an audit and he lied, or in 2 to 3 years which she is most likely to do. Hold Runcie accountable? Now that is a laugh.

  6. Talks like a politician says:

    You are correct, Buddy. The Buck does not stop with Runcie or most of the School Board members. Instead, millions and millions of bucks are wasted on incompetent cronies, corrupt contractors, lazy project managers, and cruddy materials.

    It is a tradition in the Broward County public school system. Runcie will leave someday with more bucks than he came into town with and the next shyster will appear.

    In the meantime, the maintenance department employees of the School Board will be called upon to clean up the poor construction done by contractors. School principals and assistant principals will have to oversee the completion of projects while trying to oversee student gains in learning.

    It seems to be a never ending cycle.

  7. Not a fan says:

    Remember that one time you slandered a high school yearbook for your “job”? Isn’t it fun to get paid to mock and insult other people? Perhaps the claims you make are true but at least they obtained real jobs and did something with their lives. Maybe someone should fire you 🙂

  8. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    If County School Members Robin Bartleman, Heather Brinkworth and Nora Rupert voted NO to crony corruption then the YESes FOR CRONY CORRUPTION WERE:
    Donna P. Korn Seat 8
    Ann Murray Seat l
    Patricia Good Seat 2
    Abby M. Freedman – reported on this blog as the worst member of the board slightly ahead of Ann Murray Seat 4
    Dr. Rosalind Osgood
    Seat 5
    Laurie Rich Levinson the daughter of former State Senator and now County Commission candidate
    Nan Rich Seat 6

    Now these SILLY SIX or SLEAZY SIX are destroying the school system and wasting our tax money. Osgood, Levinson appear to be politically created as best as I can read this blog.

    Now I love the history of the Szamotuly lords and Gorka counts who built Castles and Palaces in and around Poznan in Wielko Polska. Researching 12th to 15th century Polish history is somewhat chanllening with most records in hard to read Latin and very difficult Polish with few printed transcripts in books.
    Looking up six current Broward County School Board members and nailing down their corruption, self-dealing, sleazy political deals isn’t that difficult – I don’t need Latin Grammars or Polish Dictionaries. Abby M. Freedman would appear to be a fascinating study in how NOT TO BE A PRODUCTIVE ELECTED OFFICIAL! Dr. Rosalind Osgood a STUDY IN SELF-DEALING WHILE NOT KNOWNING A BLOODY THING! Korn and Good seem to have the most blank and colourless “Valley Girl” faces since I dated Sherry Shafran in 7th grade and she dumped me for an 8th grader who dated her only once because she won’t put out for him. Frankly, the Sleazy Six look like dumb 4th graders without a clue. But, maybe I’ll have something to blog in the future about these wastes of space. Hm,Hm, “Broward Taxpayers for Equality Education Political Action Committee” – have a nice name? For Mr. Ha-Ha, Mr. Sham, etc. for respected Miss Greenbarg, you may not know how to route the hogs out of the pigsty to clean it, I may

  9. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    >> Abby Freedman gushed orgasmicaly

    Some things you can never unhear or unthink.

  10. @Count says:

    Patti Good was not in attendance for the vote and, I believe, would have voted no. However, her no vote wouldn’t have been enough to change the outcome.

  11. Not a fan of #7 says:

    Number 7 seems a little sensitive and maybe taking it personal. Abby, is that you? Let’s hope that the Board would NOT be wasting precious time deflecting and defending. Let Peter McIntosh handle PR and lead his defense team.
    The truth is in black and white. THERE IS AN AUDIT! Bob has duped you yet again folks. Lately, he’s not only failing in his role as Superintendent, he’s also failing in his role as corrupt politician. I agree, you may want to dust off that resume. You may still be able to work for Chicago’s Facilities Department, cleaning toilets.

  12. Peter McIntosh says:


    This is a very interesting piece in regards to your obvious contempt as to the decision of the School Board in hiring the recommended candidate.

    My only concern at this time is that the new Chief of Facilities and Construction has not taken a seat in the position to date, and a few who would believe they speak for the majority, have doomed him to failure before he makes his first professional decision.

    The Superintendent and the Superintendent alone, must be held accountable for the performance of staff and the consequences for any failure to perform.

    All Board Members are entitled to have reservations about the Superintendent’s decision for the hire but absolutely no Board member should have voted against his recommendation.

    Comment # 5 from “Sweet Pea (Diversity)” the Superintendent is totally accountable for the hire and Dr. Osgood did the right thing.

    The deal is already inked and the only measure of evaluation is the expected efficient execution of the Bond Program.

    The Houston Audit may or may not be accurate however, if one totally understands the process; a 10% total delta between what was projected as construction cost 3 years ago is within industry standards. ($211 Million/$2,000Million = approx. 10%) would be considered GOOD.

    Construction Budget estimates for a project is usually within +/- (20% to 25%) before the detailed scope of a Project is determined.

    No estimator can be held to an exact estimate before the scope of Project is defined by actual construction drawings that have been issued a Building Permit for Construction.

    Let us move on while being very vigilant in observing the execution of the Bond Program and demanding transparency with intermittent progress reports.


    If you strip everything else away, the story boils down to one point:

    Superintendent Robert Runcie lied to his bosses.

    He could have said there was an audit, but he disagreed with it. Instead, he said flatly three times there was no audit.

  13. Calcetines says:

    Most of the board is still on honeymoon with the Superintendent. One board member has always questioned her concern about items in the agenda. As of lately two more have joined in questioning things that are bizarre. The rest of them just have pre-inked rubber stamps and are ready to approve whatever the Super wants. Wait until the elections are nearer, then things may start getting ugly for Runcie. It’s all about survival you know! 🙂

  14. Cue Peter McanExcuse says:

    There he is, Mr. PR! “The Houston audit may or may not be accurate.” “There Is No Audit,” remember? So PR confirms that there is in fact an audit! Just like there are million dollar plans to rebuild Stranahan and there were millions of Capital dollars approved to repair deteriorating schools just sitting in an account somewhere. Thank you for clearing that up for us now help him pack his bags.

  15. Talks like a politician says:

    The seats on the Broward School Board are often used by the members to run for their next office. This can work out either good or bad for taxpayers/stakeholders.

    Miriam Oliphant, Diana Wasserman-Rubin, Lori Parrish, and Lois Wexler are examples of those who went from a School Board seat to a Broward County level office. Some good came of their political wins. Parrish and Wexler have done well in their positions. Wasserman-Rubin was found guilty on criminal charges. Oliphant was removed from the SOE office for gross mismanagement.

    Stephanie Kraft and Beverly Gallagher, both former School Board members, were hauled into court on criminal charges. Gallagher served prison time.

    Bottom line: Voters, remember the names Osgood, Freedman, Murray, Korn, and Levinson, the supporters of Runcie, if their names appear on a ballot near you. If they cannot make educated decisions about the School Board budget, why should they be trusted with anything else?

    Rupert, Brinkworth, and Bartleman could see through the misinformation regarding Runcie’s choice. Good was absent, thus did not vote.

    Stephanie Kraft and Beverly Gallagher

  16. Amazing Karnack says:

    Karnack foretold there would be more stories regarding the lies and UN-fathoming ability of the Board to hold RunDMC or anyone accountable in the organization. Karnack says RunDMC caught in many lies to the Board and we will soon see more of this when the recent run away chief of facilities is held accountable (by another agency) for misleading the Board.

    Karnack says that’s right in this State it is a misdemeanor to intentionally mislead (lie) to a public official. Karnack says this new incident has already been reported to those same officials who are once again looking closely into the sordid affairs of these useful idiots.

    Karnack says if one had a nickle for everytime we heard an audit was flawed or inaccurate we would all be millionaires. Karnack says all of Peter McIntosh words are predictable and expected. Karnack says Peter needs to get a new routine we are tired of the same old stories. Karnack says too bad the harem isn’t.

    Karnack says RunDMC will get a chance to tell his story soon. Karnack says that shouldn’t matter. Karnack says he or one of his useful idiots called Houston prior to meeting and knew there was an audit when he publicly told the Board there was not.

    Karnack says wait until we hear the story to be told on the huge change order coming on the roof project at Flamingo El. Karnack says this and many more horror stories to come. Karnack says tis the season. Karnack says after all it will be Halloween soon.

    Karnack says Peter get out your lipstick and be ready to spin the Flamingo story. Karnack says we all need to buy stock in lipstick. Karnack says the train for RunDMC and his band of useful idiots has left the station. Karnack says the train goes clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack.

  17. Check Your Privilege says:

    I’m a Parkland resident and agree that Abby Freedman is far and away the worst representative on our school board. Honestly I don’t think there is a more inept and arrogant elected official in the County than her. When the next grand jury comes (as I suspect it will) I would wager they will have plenty to say about her shenanigans in office (whether they rise to the level of criminality I can’t say, but they are in my opinion negligent at best).

    Even though I can’t stand her and think she’s as useless and annoying as a person can be, I question your use of the phrase “gushed orgasmically and wild eyed.”

    If a male elected official spoke enthusiastically about a person or subject, even irrationally, I doubt you would have used this kind of language.

    Otherwise fantastic article. Runcie lied and his bosses let him get away with it.

  18. Luvin it says:

    #10, my guess Henry Rose

    You have to love when any elected Board Member misses a vote and then waits for public opinion to settle on whatever way to wind is blowing the strongest.

    Was Member Good on a deserted island and could not call in her vote? As someone who lives in that District, it is disappointing that my School Board Member missed such an important vote. Who does she think she is, Marco Rubio?

  19. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Mr Sham is looking for “one brave politian” in Florida? We havent had a brave politician since Claude Pepper and you know the abuse he got for his pains! Sadly we get people who cant do real work or sometimes worse guys who because of dumb luck get a pot of gold and think they actually worked n deseeve their accidental pile n decide they or worse their useless wife should run for office. “Brave” is a word absent in South Florida particularly as outside n foreign developers with flight capital thru their lobbyists control most government decisions as people vote their race or religion or language preferences and ignore the general or common interest for honest government.

  20. @18 says:

    She was at a funeral. Ms Good has never missed a controversial vote before so why would she start now?
    She has also never approved no bid contracts nor borrow against a pension to balance a city budget.

  21. Fed Up says:

    It’s really a shame that the misbehavior of top administrators at the SBBC reflects so negatively on the thousands of hard-working employees that are busting their asses to keep this district up and running. Kudos to all the folks who are making it work on the shoestring of a budget that was left after all the corruption that cost so many their jobs and still continues to this day.

  22. Where Is Mike says:

    The Grand Jury must be convened again to examine Runcie’s lies, hiring practices, handing of the public proceeds from the b onds and circumventing laws on purchasing. All of these are prosecutable under the law. At the very least they are worthy of scrutiny by a panel of independent jurors. A Grand Jury could issue a finding which Runcie would be mandated to follow or face the political and legal consequences. It is needed. Are you listening Mike Satz?

  23. Record Speaks for Itself says:

    The chronology of Head of Facilities under Runcie is clear. Runcie inherited Tom Linder and he was gone in December 2012 after Runcie accused him of not following the grand jury recommendations and other things. The position was vacant for 18 months. During the 18 months, no major projects started but a few on the books continued such as Cooper City and Ft. Lauderdale High Schools. Then the district goes out for the $800 million dollar bond without a Chief of Facilities. Runcie then hired Messier. In the short year he was here, Messier was in charge of the flawed Needs Assessment for the schools, violating Sunshine Law for bidding, and brought in URS which outsourced contruction projects. The other concerns were postponing the starting of the GOB by a year, not starting the most needy schools, Stranahan and Northeast High School projects and the debacle in Parkland by not starting a project which the city gave the money to build the classrooms. Suddently, Messier resigned in August 2015 leaving the Facilities Department open again. It did not take long for Runcie to hire his new guy, Leo Bobadilla. It took 18 months to get Messier, but less than 3 months to hire Bobadilla who came with a cloud over him regarding his mismanagement of a bond program larger than Browards. I think the record speaks for itself.

  24. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Where Is Mike…Waiting for Satz to listen and act is like waiting for Godot.

    Nothing will happen. As usual. From any quarter except the voters, who are apparently lemmings in most districts.

  25. More BS says:

    #21 AMEN. We all know who really keeps this district running. Hint: It’s not Senior Management nor the Board.

    Think how amazing this school district would be if there was honesty, integrity and genuine purpose in the leadership.

  26. More BS says:

    Mike Satz sucks and was absent during all the other grand jury reports. Only the Feds get it done.

  27. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Once again Miss Greenbarg hits the nail on the head! Lemmings is exactly what we have. Jews vote for Jews, Blacks for Blacks, White Protestants for White Protestants and American Irish Catholics for American Irish Catholics! And, the non profit people vote to funded themselves, the lobbyists use the organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, Workshop, Tower Forum, Tourist Bureau even City Committees and Boards not to improve things but binge on goodies for themselves and their clients! The vendors and non profits who rip off us taxpayers are an organized voting block that the average citizen is too busy working and taking care of their families and houses to fight – especially with the nasty attacks of the “hired guns” with fake names on blogs. How many EMPLOYED FATHERS and MOTHERS have the time to go to endless meetings? And, let’s be honest, it is easier for wealthy people – and not so wealthy people to just work overtime or cut vacations and put their kids into private school – as my cousins who live in Broward County have done.
    It is sad how corrupt a county with a huge liberal Jewish Democratic component spouting “reform” since Adlai Stevenson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Hubert Humphrey, Justices Brandeis and Cardoza, has become!

  28. overseer says:

    Phuc mike satz, we need mike m.

  29. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Thanks, Count LF etc….and it is really tragic to see what the Ds have become.

    overseer: Amen!

  30. THE RAVEN says:

    Are there any educated people left in Broward County? Remember when we could read between the lines? Now there are more lines…and nothing in between but unbridled corruption.