U. S. Rep. Alcee Hastings Warns School Board: Don’t Fire Superintendent Robert Runcie






U. S. Rep. Alcee Hastings warned the Broward County School Board in a remarkable letter earlier this month to keep Superintendent Robert Runcie “in his position.”

A Fort Lauderdale Democrat and pioneer civil rights leader, Hastings seemed to be telegraphing that Runcie’s future at the School Board is shaky.

Otherwise, why the letter?


Alcee Hastings No. 3

Alcee Hastings


The subtext of Hastings’ supportive two-page letter on congressional stationery: The School Board risks the wraith of the black community if they fire Runcie, Broward’s first African-American school superintendent

The key sentence: is, “Given the coming attacks on K-12 public education, it is prudent that this School Board do all it can to keep Superintendent Runcie in his position to continue the progress that has been made.”

The warning is chilling because it comes from Broward’s longest active Broward black leader. Hastings, 80, first ran for office in 1970, then was a state and federal judge before winning election to Congress in 1992.

Although Hastings is impressed by Runcie, the superintendent has critics including at least three on the School Board.

Runcie has been criticized for failing to start meaningful construction with the $800 million in financing approved by voters more than two years ago. He has also been condemned by some for misusing the school system police, for his hiring practices, and for the lack of significant improvements in student achievement.

Despite these public failures, it was assumed Runcie had the support of a majority of the nine-member School Board.

Until Hastings letter.

Now School Board observers are not so sure.

Read the letter, linked below, and you decide:




Letter from Rep. Alcee Hastings




32 Responses to “U. S. Rep. Alcee Hastings Warns School Board: Don’t Fire Superintendent Robert Runcie”

  1. Thomas James says:

    Progress that’s been made? ????
    Has this guy been smoking crack?

  2. Joan king says:

    Aldee Hastings doesn’t have best track record, in fact he’s been in trouble,… I’ve seen 1st hand his representation of admin. Dorothy Wooten,… Mr. Humphries took care of her & what she tried to do at Oriole Elem., since then I don’t trust Alcee!

  3. Zachery Taylor says:

    I admire Al C. Hastings for what he has done for us in the House of Representatives, however, I felt his letter had a tone of threating the school board members. This letter seems to come at about the same time as the article on Nora Rupert and “Mr. Mike” her opponent. In the first article there were references to Mr. Runcie being behind the opponent of Ms. Rupert. Now the letter from Rep. Hastings, who has in the past supported Ms. Rupert, sounds threatening. I have also heard there are other prominent black politicians who have always supported Ms. Rupert who are thinking about withdrawing their endorsements. It would be sad if Rep. Hastings and others decided to stop supporting Ms. Rupert because she is honest and calls out mistakes when she sees them no matter the race of the person. I thought the person who is working for the children of Broward should be re-elected especially, if the she calls it like it is. Maybe Mr. Runcie is in trouble? Rep. Hastings just made me think about that. Hopefully, all of the elected officials and black pastors will have to examine their hearts on this one.

  4. A reader says:

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

    Once again the threat of black wrath is used to intimidate those who would dearly love to see meaningful change in Broward’s public education system. Is this the same black wrath that kept previous school Superintendents from making some meaningful changes? If so, it is insanity.

    I do agree that resources must remain in public schools. The public system educates all students from the disabled to the gifted and does a great job with the students with scant academic ability and those with multitudes of academic ability.

    However, the focus on all children attending college is killing many students of all races who for many reasons have less than average
    academic abilities.

    Alcee Hasting’s placement of blame on the school system as a pipeline to the prison system is dead wrong. Many students who end up in prison are there because of learning disabilities and emotional handicaps that interfere with their abilities to read or do math on grade level. These students, along with slow learners, are often doomed as early as 3rd or 4th grade. They fall more and more behind their peers and do not graduate with the ability to attend college. There is no other option but to drop out, take a low income job, or turn to the drug culture that supports many neighborhoods.

    It is time for politicians to stop pointing fingers at the school system as it is. It is time for politicians to let educators use some resources to bring meaningful education to the academically challenged population so they can enter the work force with skills needed by employers. It is time for politicians to refrain from supporting one another based on a foundation of racial threats.

  5. Concerned Citizen says:

    Mr Hastings, I am trying very hard to find the correct words for a response.
    Mr Runcie is unfit for leading Broward schools. Making this a race issue, especially in our current national political climate, is beneath you.
    The taxpayers of Broward should get their monies worth in our schools and from its employees. Mr Runcie is not pro teacher, pro student or pro construction. This “computer sales person” has funded his friends in the business while mold grows on the walls. He has put an unqualified bully in a position of judging others. He encouraged said employee to fight board members with legal action thus wasting more taxpayer money.
    Mr Hastings, please stick to what you know and I will stick to what I know. Race should not be a factor in supporting a public official, ethics should.

  6. Oh David says:

    “Zachery Taylor” aka David Brown?

  7. Charles King says:

    Alcee Hastings is an 80 year old bribe taking judge who was impeached by the United States Congress and went on to represent a totally racially gerrymandered district as a race baiting all around leftist. If he thinks Runcie should not be fired, that’s a ringing endorsement that he should be. Do yourself a favor and checkout Alcee Hasting’s career on Wikipedia, its all there and nothing should surprise you that he does in his waning years.


    Hastings was acquitted of bribery charges by jurors in a Federal Court. He was later impeached by Congress on allegations stemming from the bribery case.

  8. disgruntled says:

    mr king is right on, alcees track record indicates he has extremely little moral authority to so pontificate. buddy why don’t you check out what he does with all the campaign contibutions he receives after all he has little or no opposition. I also hear he is in the top few of congressman in government travel.. he walked in court because he is probably the best speaker in court that I have ever heard, the man is good and he swayed the jury…. his co defendant, his old buddy, was convicted and that jury stated if alcee was tried there he would have also gone down. time for him to take his pension and retire……

  9. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    #7.Charlie makes a valid point. Ok so Alcee Hastings had good lawyers to defend him more like. Also what about the woman that stated that he sexually harassed them. I know he did nothing wrong, just martini talk huh…I think the school board can do what ever they want w/ the Super. Keep him. Fire him,etc. Mr.Runcie situation changed nothing. Nor did the congressman. endoresment. People that where for him, are still w/ him. The people that want him gone,still want him gone. This letter accomplished nothing….

  10. Charles King says:

    I also read that his co-conspirator who refused to testify and went to jail in the bribery case was given a pardon and released from jail on “Crooked” Bill Clinton’s last day in office. Birds of a feather and all I guess.

  11. Chris Smith for FTL Mayor? says:

    Anyone else get a telephone survey this weekend asking about their familiarity with Former State Senator Chris Smith? Also asked questions about Republican Commissioner and Former Police Chief Bruce Roberts.

  12. PX Kelly says:

    What race was Runcie when the board hired him.

  13. Charles King says:

    Bruce Roberts isn’t a Republican. In fact he de-listed himself as a so called “labor union” Republican about 6 month ago. He is now registered as “Non Party Affiliated.” Some local political advisor that represents all the local public sector union stooges on the dais probably told him it was better that way for his 2018 Fort Lauderdale Mayoral Campaign. What a jellyfish huh? It’s not easy making it to 70 years of age without spine, I wonder how Bruce did it?

  14. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    #13 actually Comm.Roberts is playing by the rules. If i get my voting rights back i too will register as non-party affiliated.I wouldn’t describe Comm.roberts as spineless. Another knock on his age. At seventy he’s doing alot better physically than alot of guys my age. Robert turns fifty on Saturday. I wish Comm.Roberts well. I thought this was about Alcee Hastings and his letter endorsing Runcie….

  15. Zachery Taylor says:

    So sorry, I am not Dave Brown!!

  16. Bob Babalima says:

    If Runcie stays, can we at least get rid of his three bodyguards? You know, the ones that pull in a higher salary than 20 year-plus teachers in this county? The ones that stand at each exit door at meetings, looking o-so-Secret Service-like? The ones that whisk him away at the end of town hall meetings like the POTUS?



  18. Jackie says:

    I haven’t read Hastings letter but I think it’s time for us to write him and let him know the state of affairs here in broad schools, which when it comes to successes will be a short letter. We are here we have to get 5 board members to get rid of Runcie this year!!

  19. Race card? Passe says:

    OR WHAT, Congressman? You will call the Board a bunch of racists?

    Is that what we have come down to? Every time someone complains about something a black person does all of sudden becomes a “racist”.

    Guess what it is NOT about the color of his skin. It IS clearly about the content (in this case little)content of his character.

  20. Sam Fields says:

    Alcee Hastings was arrested for conspiring to take a $150,000 bribe from Washington attorney William Borders to go easy on the Romano brothers who had been convicted in his court.

    Even though Borders was convicted and therefore faced no further charges, he refused to testify at Hastings trial.

    Borders, the government’s key witness, was found guilty of contempt of court. But, without Borders’ testimony Hastings was acquitted.

    Reaction in Congress was swift.

    After hearing all the evidence, including material not available at the criminal trial, the House voted 413-3 to impeach.

    Virtually every member of the Black Caucus, including John Conyers a Black Democrat from Detroit and Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, voted for impeachment.

    The Senate convicted him by a vote of 69-26, five more than needed.

    As for Border’s pardon by Clinton, it is questionable. A pardon is not exoneration. It is given to people who have fully admitted their wrongdoing and deserve a second chance in life.

    To this day Borders has refused to tell the full story. Clinton was wrong to pardon him.

  21. BUDDY says:

    I must add for fairness sake the other opinions in the Senate:

    Senator Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico, chairman of the Senate committee that reviewed the charges, voted not guilty on every charge.

    Bingamanwas joined by Senator Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, vice chairman of the committee, who urged fellow senators to reject the charges.
    Specter was former Philadelphia District Attorney. Bingaman was a former New Mexico Attorney General in New Mexico.
    Both said the evidence failed to convince them of Hastings’s guilt.
    Specter said he was particularly concerned about the case because it was the first time impeachment proceedings had been brought against an official who had been tried by a jury and acquitted.
    No standard of proof is required for conviction in an impeachment case, and senators are free to evaluate evidence as they choose.
    U. S. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Florida, applied a standard used in civil cases and voted to acquit Hastings. ”Under the rules of this proceeding, I felt I was required to apply the standard of clear and convincing evidence against the accused,” Graham told the press.

  22. Charles King says:

    So what do you think Buddy. Did Alcee Hasting take the sizable bribe in your opinion? I know he did in mine and in the opinion of the US House and Senate, except for the opinions of 3 Congressmen and 26 Senators.

  23. NW Broward MODC says:

    Ohhh… the “pipeline to prison…” So catchy….
    We have lots of funding for cute little juvenile offender circle groups, groups and more groups to “discuss” why…their criminal behaviors are the fault of the police.
    Yes, lets pretend that with enough funding, one more focus group, and a follow up survey we can teach an oppositional and explosive juvenile to count to ten or do jumping jacks when they feel the urge to punch an elderly woman in the face, grab her pocketbook and steal her car. Let’s keep affirming, that they alone, are the center of the universe; are entitled to immediate gratification and deserve a special certificate for showing up.
    Let’s bring music about pimping/prostitution/drugs/ to our public county events and blast the glorification of “the struggle” into the ears of toddlers in strollers.
    As we continue to mess with the minds of our youth in crisis by dismissing all accountability for behavior, lets at least acknowledge that in doing so, these KIDS are ill prepared to navigate the adult correctional system that they have been strategically set up for; by one warped segment of the left wing.

  24. Chaz Stevens, Jack's #1 Fan! says:

    >> Let’s bring music about pimping/prostitution/drugs/ to our public county events and blast the glorification of “the struggle” into the ears of toddlers in strollers.

    Excellent. Count me in.

  25. Dr. Who says:


    Are you talking about Israel Canales, Richard Volpi, and who is the third one? You are absolutely correct all these…should be fired.

  26. Jerry Hammel says:

    I was in the district for 23 yrs. RUNCIE by far the worst boss ever. So one sided on hiring of staff. Example his second in charge using district credit cards for an affair with christy whintey cofer. Also RUNCIE has a record of all talk and no action teacher’s still waiting for money. Lots of corruption siu chief investors etc

  27. Run Chris Run says:

    Run Chris Run. We are ready for you in the Mayor’s race like we were ready in the county commission race. You just can’t help yourself being out of office. You even want to run against McKenzie. Get over it, the community knows your true colors, you just realized we were smarter than you gave us credit for!

  28. ironica says:

    Mr. “Ruin”cie needs to go. He is not for the students. His whole tenure here has been a political stepping stone. If he cared about the students and their academic progress, schools would not be mold ridden nor would they have buckets catching water leaking in from the rooftops-what happened to the monies generated by the Bond Initiative? While students are trying to learn to the best of their of abilities they are sniffling, congested and suffering with chronic sinusitis, and upper respiratory infections. Although many come to school anyway, they are miserable and unable to focus. Oh, did I mention many schools no longer have nurses because of budget cuts. Instead, schools have health techs. The list goes on of all the great things Mr. “Ruin”cie has done for our children. Listen, it is time for him to go. I have struggled to understand why anyone I have voted for would endorse him.His entire tenure here in Broward County is counterintuitive to my values and those elected officials whom I have placed my trust.

  29. moreofthesamecrap says:

    Apparently, this bozo has never spoken with a major of those who have actually worked at Broward County Public Schools under Mr. Runcie. Those who have witnessed the mismanagement of both staff and funding. Those who went to him with serious issues and N O T H I N G was done.

  30. Fed Up says:

    This is just another example of using your authority to support wrong-doing. No different than what we are accusing Runcie of doing. Shame on you Hastings for letting this crook place another black spot on your already spotty career. If you really cared about supporting blacks then you would take a harder look at the lack of support to the black “school” community that has been shown by Runcie. The only black folks he supports are those that he can use to attempt to make his lackluster administration of the Broward School System look like something to be lauded (NAACP etc.). He he was such a great leader he wouldn’t need to parade organizations he is a member of in front of his own Board to attempt to convince us all that he is someone to be respected. Shame, shame, shame!

  31. Mitchell says:

    I Suggest @RepHastingsFL come visit NE high school before singing the praise of superintended souly based on Race. Shame on you Alcee talk to the kids that have asthma breathing in mold and mildew. This is in a low to very Moderate working class families, Minorities with diversity, do those kids matter to you??? That school was to be torn down 2008 and brand new school built what happen to the money Alcee 2014 we pass a bond with that school as an example for why we need the bond where is
    that money Alcee Shame on you bringing the Race card Shame on you,


    The kickoff for the pro-bond campaign was done at Northeast High because it was a school that desperately needed renovations.

  32. EnoughisEnough says:

    Thank you Buddy for investigating and keeping the public and staff informed. Sadly, most of us feel embarrassed that our leader is about himself and NOT about the kids, conditions of schools or staff. When will the Board wake up and vote him out? Hasn’t the community, staff of schools and teachers spoken loud enough?