We Should All Cry About Maureen Dinnen’s School Board Record


School Board member Maureen Dinnen broke down in tears Tuesday.

She must have been thinking about her future and her wreaked political career.  After last month’s über-critical Grand Jury report on the schools, Dinnen should have no future in politics.


Dinnen: Smiling Through The Tears

Dinnen called the Grand Jury report “gossip and hearsay just as the flood gates opened.

Poor Dinnen feels, sniffle, picked on.  It’s our fault.  We don’t recognize all the good the School Board has done.

I must remind Browardbeat.com readers that Dinnen has been the loudest voice for the status quo on the School Board.

The status quo means corruption, inside deals and wasted money.

I need mention only three names in connection with Dinnen to show how out of touch she is:

*Frank Till.  Dinnen was one of the biggest defenders of the former superintendent, saying he did “a wonderful job and voting against his dismissal.  Much of the wrongdoing mentioned in the Grand Jury report was done on Till’s watch.

*Ed Marko. Dinnen supported Marko to the end, despite the long-time attorney’s blind eye towards a generation of misspending and coziness with developers.  Dinnen was the only one in December to back a one year extension to Marko’s contract.

*Neil Sterling. As reported by Browardbeat.com first, Dinnen took $5,000 from Sterling to form a non-profit group to push for education. It was the only money the group received, stated the Browardbeat.com October 2009 story.

Ms. Dinnen does have a lot to cry about.

She should cry about the tax dollars she and her colleagues frittered away.

She should cry about the shattered dreams of children who are not getting the best education for the dollars.

She should cry about her failures as a School Board member.


Mike Mayo once again has written a great column about the School Board and Maureen Dinnen.  I urge you to read it here.

15 Responses to “We Should All Cry About Maureen Dinnen’s School Board Record”

  1. City Activist Robert walsh says:

    Wow buddy I guess she knew this was coming going by what you pointed out. In her somewhat defense I did not see her get arrested. With gallagher spilling the beans about this one and that etc. if Mrs.Dinnen did anything will say questionable the State att. Off. would have gotten her to. Just like they arrested Kraft who as you know is awaiting trial. See what I mean. As far as Mrs.Dinnen could lead the vote to get rid of Notter, but she is only one vote. As far as taking political donations from Neil Sterling, after this she could always give it (money) back. will see, but in all fairness Buddy you make some valid points. How about an interview w/ Mrs.Dinnen. As far as her being the cream of the crop as far as corruption that is pushing it. In regards to her getting upset the other day, remember never, never let them see you sweat(or cry). look forward to your follow up Buddy. Thanks for keeping all of us informed, but now I want to hear from Mrs.Dinnen

  2. Git R Done says:

    You’re right on the money with this one Buddy!
    This woman was so tight with the Union it wasn’t even good she got elected.
    She was a State/Involved Union person and always bragged about it as well. She’s truly a moron and thinks she knows everything because she used to be a teacher,that doesn’t make her a genius. Doesn’t she understand that the union is corrupt and always out for what they want, not for the teachers, that’s for sure!

    BTW: City activist Robert Walsh: her name is Ms. Dinnen… she’s never been married, I don’t think!

    She’s also one on the Board that really and truly does NOT UNDERSTAND THE BUDGET, along with the others as well.

  3. Amazing Karnack says:

    clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack.

  4. Nick Sakhnovsky says:

    Buddy is right on target. Here is a link to the actual Grand Jury report, which is well worth reading in its entirety:

    The report is amazingly thorough. One does not have to agree with every single recommendation to respect its validity as a whole. It will be taken seriously by anyone who cares about good government, and shows a long-standing pattern of problems. By the way, the Grand Jury could not indict unless the corruption scheme involved more than one district, and could not name specific individuals by name (although it is quite clear who some of the individuals are) without providing a protracted response time beyond its time limit. It took an immense amount of time and effort to produce the investigation.

    For anyone, elected or not, to pretend in any way that we don’t have a huge structural and leadership problem in this school district is either foolish or disingenous. And to think the issues raised have truly been solved is equally so.

    Fortunately, just this evening the district’s Facilities Task Force (which was created in response wo a previous grand jury report, but which has never been fully utilized by the board despite its policy mandate) endorsed the grand jury report’s recommendations concerning construction practices, and called for additional audits and a thorough report from the school board auditors. These are folks who actually have and deserve respect within the system, and who know how to identify with authority what the specific problems and solutions are.

    I hope the board and the community will not waste this opportunity for real reform.

  5. Warren Meddoff says:

    Regrettably, the corruption spreads its tentacles throughout Broward Politics. An old investigation dictate is “follow the money”. If one follows Dinnen’s trail of largest, you connect the dots to other corrupt politicians and the circle gets ever wider.

  6. let me understand says:

    mr. walsh

    You go on these blogs and rip Commissioner Alu because she aided in bringing down corrupt public officials and yet here in the face of obvious corruption you ask us to give Dinnen a chance? come on. What’s next Eddelletion was misunderstood and entrapped by police but he took the deal because it was too good to pass up?

  7. Get Real says:

    Look, these people come out and run for these school board jobs. I’m not going to crucify them for wanting to help the community but face the facts. Who are these people? Where did they come from? What do they have to offer and why are they running?

    Some are teachers or former teachers but very few have been business people that care. Some have no credentials, frankly most have unimpressive resumes. Most want to see kids learn better, most start off that way, but soon they find themselves in the union and construction business. Some just need that little ego boost that comes with elected office.

    Some are encouraged by fellow parents to run based on local advocacy in schools. Others are encouraged by business or union interests for a variety of reasons. Some sincerely want to help and have no special interest stakes. Rarely do they get elected.

    Who is to blame here? The ones up there who we failed to evaluate before electing them or us as voters for sending people up there who never had any chance of success?

    I hire people for a living. If I make a bad hiring decision it costs me money. You learn, when your livelihood is at stake, that hiring decisions are a lot like picking horses in a race. You need to evaluate a horse’s chance of winning at the starting gate. You do that BEFORE you place your bet.

    This county’s track record in picking school boards is not a winning record. We are making bad hiring decisions.

    Maureen Dinnen is a nice lady and I will not be disrespectful to her as others have. She is a retired teacher and a former union leader. She went there with a hopeful and honest agenda I am sure. But she has no business experience. She has no knowledge of how to run large complex organizations. Yet she is asked to help manage one of the most complex, multi-billion dollar organizations around.

    We elect such a person and then complain when they fail. Who is to blame here?

    If we’re going to have a school board, then members should be elected on the basis of talent, independence and caring.

    Someone with kids attending our public schools or a keen interest in education would have a personal stake in the success of the schools but that’s not enough. Sharp business people attuned to the educational needs and goals of this community make sense but that’s not enough. People with enough self-esteem not to care whether they serve one term or four offer proper attitude is a trait I’d seriously look for. It takes a blend of talents and personal attributes to make the right hiring decision for these jobs.

    Maureen does not fit that profile. Come to think of it, I’m not sure any of our current school board members fit that profile.

    The fish always smells from the head. We aim our anger at them but we are the fish. We are the head. We as citizens have failed to do OUR job and THAT is why the school board lacks integrity. Stop making excuses and take responsibility for the fix.

    We are much better off with an elected superintendent and an advisory school board selected by PTA’s. This way we get single point of accountability. Under that structure education and district management will improve.

    Either way, the question isn’t how to fix the problems at the school board but whether we as residents care enough to do the work. Don’t expect anybody in power with a stake in the status quo to do that work for you. Stand up and demand change or stop your worthless bellyaching.

  8. Dinnen Bad Business says:

    Re: Get Real 8:26 a.m.

    Dinnen has bad business experience.

    “In December 2000, no one knew who would be the Democratic nominee to take on Jeb. It didn’t matter. The Florida Education Association angry about Bush v. Gore-was committed to revenge for 2000 long before it knew what revenge’s face would look like.

    A year after it apparently increased the mortgage on its headquarters from $1 million to $2.7 million, the FEA identified that face, endorsing Bill McBride in January 2002 and pouring $1.5 million into television ads. When I asked FEA president Maureen Dinnen about the mortgage, she didn’t deny it. “We were authorized to extend as many funds as needed because our people are so upset about the situation in Florida,” she explained, citing a May 2001 delegate assembly that gave her “not exactly a blank check,” but the authority to do whatever she could to beat Bush. Dinnen continued: “Whatever we did to secure those funds, I know it was legal and we have nothing to be ashamed of.”

  9. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    To “let me understand” in regards to your comments concerning Att.Alu to Bd.Member Dinnen. First of all Ms.Dinnen has never to my knowledge been arrested nor is she in the same boat as Kraft or eggeletion etc. To compare Sheila Alu to Maureen dinnen is like comparing apples and oranges. lets face it Att.Alu by turning in the Judge to other investigations she has been involved in by not playing fair. Her way is to work on the sidelines to enrich or promote her path to some big shot w/in the FBI or other law enforcement agencies. In other words she will step on anyone or capitalize on any case where she will come across as the one that saved the day. Att.Alu uses her postion as a Ast.State Att. to enrich herself and her own poltical ambitions. I do not see Ms.Dinnen doing this. So go ahead Att. alu Clarice Starrling is waiting by, but so is Hannibal. Also I have never heard of Maureen being some “loosey goosey” either. Shoe fits wear it….

  10. ShooFly says:

    Dinnen called the Grand Jury report “gossip and hearsay” just as the flood gates opened.

    Well, I say the flood gates opened
    and they were just “The Tears Of A Clown.”

    They are all a bunch of clowns and I hope Governor Scott fire all of them.

  11. BrowardRealist says:

    Just for the record, Maureen Dinnen is not in the good graces of the teaches’ union. She had turned her back on them and follows Notter (Mini Me)like a puppy and her Lobbyist$ friends.
    Big Big mistake. They all used her At first she seemed to care, but she got sucked in based on her lack of knowledge.
    Sad but true story to the end of what should have been a respected career.

  12. Former Insider says:

    Sorry guys, ignorance is no excuse. This Board and this Superintendent wasted millions of dollars in taxpayers’ hard-earned money. They moved their friends and cronies in, and employees with no connections, out. Someone should be held accountable. In fact, all of them should.

  13. Hammerhead says:

    Sorry this post is late but I’ve been away for a couple days.

    Maureen Dinnen is a retired history teacher. She wears that experience like a badge of honor or entitlement, I’m not really sure which at the moment.

    She is milking everything she can out of the Ft. Lauderdale 100th Anniversery, as if it is really “her” celebration. That was not an age joke.

    She has worked hard to be the face of Ft. Lauderdale, along with John P. “Jack” Seiler. She called on him and a couple of other so-called ethical fixtures to bring back some recommendations indicating that everthing at the school board was fine. Then Kraft got arrested…oops! And by the way the “three gentlemen” did not, or would not, sign their names to their final report on ethics reform and improvements for the school board. Doesn’t sound very ethical to me.

    Then they did not show up when the report was released at a board meeting to field questions. To Kraft’s credit, I was told she did bring that fact up and was not happy about it.

    Although the “three gentlemen” were not present, and they were supposed to have been “independent”, Dinnen was quick to answer questions of the other board members on behalf of the missing authors, from what was reported to me. So how did she have answers for other board members when the panel of gentlement was to be independent and objective? Were they running things by her first or did she hand them a list of recommendations before they even began? I don’t know.

    I do know the report was a sham partly on which the school board is relying in its response to the DOE as it pertains to the grand jury report.

    The pressure has been ratcheted up pretty high on Dinnen and her two primary paths have converged. Her past training as a history teacher and her current activities as an elected have her acting irrationally; almost Charlie Sheen-like. She throws a crying fit from the dais while trying to re-write history and paint herself as a victim.

    First, there is no crying in politics unless someone dies. Second, the county has documented her vindictive and controlling style and demeanor, along with her deafness to her constituents. One would think, by watching and listening, that her only constituents are other electeds in Ft. Lauderdale…like Seiler.

    Final question? Has anybody seen or heard from Seiler, Allen or Butterworth since the grand jury report has been issued? Did they fail to see and report what was really going on when they were digging “deep”, or was their real mission to provide a document to accompany Dinnen’s plan to give the “all clear” sign? She insists that she should not be lumped in with the known felon or the other accused felon from the board, yet she has an emotional breakdown when she discusses the media’s portrayal of her? Don’t most politicians go into their campaigns and terms knowing that some unkind words might be uttered about them in the media? She has, single-handedly, exposed herself as one of the crooked pols. Too bad she can’t re-write history…but then she should already have known that.

  14. The Future of Our Schools says:

    Just for the record, Ms. Dinnen’s time, much like that of her friend, Dr. Bob Parks (namesake of “Bob Parks Field”), is coming to an end. We need an outsider with an understanding of the School Board and its needs.

    Finally, this should allow the voters to separate the future of our school system and its great teachers from a member that supports all of the goals of the BTU and their henchmen!

  15. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Too ridiculous to write a comment. Grand Jury what, the School Board is just same S__T diffferent day.