‘Neglect of duty’: Grand jury report recommends removal of five Broward County School Board members

KORN GOOD
One of those recommended for removal is up for re-election in Tuesday's Primary.

One of the School Board members Broward County residents will be asked to re-elect in Tuesday’s Primary Election has been recommended for removal by a grand jury report released Friday.

Donna Korn, up for re-election, is one of five Board members the grand jury report found “engaged in acts of incompetence and neglect of duty.” It raises the possibility that Korn, the Board member elected by the entire county, could be re-elected only to be removed by Gov. Ron DeSantis after that.

DeSantis impaneled the grand jury in response to the Parkland massacre, the state’s worst school shooting that left 17 people dead and another 17 people injured. The grand jury’s subject has gone far beyond the reasons why Nikolas Cruz was able to go on a bloody rampage inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s 1200 Building. It put the Broward County School Board and its processes under a microscope after the Sun-Sentinel identified corruption and mismanagement relating to technology purchases and an $800 million construction bond to renovate schools.

The report was completed in April 2021 and has already resulted in criminal charges, according to the Sun-Sentinel. The district’s former Superintendent Robert Runcie resigned and was indicted for perjury. General Counsel Barbara Myrick also was arrested for charges related to perjury before the grand jury. And earlier, Tony Hunter, the district’s former chief information officer, was arrested for bid rigging and bribery charges to which he has pleaded not guilty.

The full report was not released until those Board members named in it had a chance to respond.

In addition to Korn, School Board member Patricia Good is recommended for removal, along with Board members who are stepping down when their terms expire in November: Ann Murray and Laurie Rich Levinson. The fifth person recommended for removal, now-Sen. Rosalind Osgood, left the School Board to run to represent what is now Senate District 32.

She said she disagreed that the board had neglected its duties and been incompetent.

“I didn’t neglect my duties,” she said. “I showed up and I worked hard every time, every day for the kids in this community.”

The report slams the Board’s ability to hold district administrators accountable. And it could prove to be bad timing. Broward Schools are asking taxpayers to increase property taxes to the current half-mill to a full one on Tuesday’s ballot.

“They have failed in the years since to provide a level of leadership necessary to deal with the problems and conflicts that have arisen,” the report reads.

The report noted that the board would chide the Superintendent for failing to advance building projects, only to rate him as “effective” or “highly effective.”

“The result in paralysis has created a knock-on effect, costing the taxpayers of Broward County millions of extra dollars as projects fall literal years behind schedule and students continue to be educated in decrepit, moldy, unsafe buildings.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


10 comments

  • Joe Corsin

    August 19, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    – Vote RED for grifting, hoarding, and lying
    – Vote RED for American history without context
    – Vote RED for election thieves and anti-government militias shilling for the rich
    – Vote RED for right wing police state
    – Vote RED for forced birth of meth babies and crack babies

    • Ronald Williams

      August 20, 2022 at 11:08 am

      Vote Democrap for more PUKEgressiveness, the originators of Fake News, Educational Misinformation, Lemming groupthink, Sanctuary cities and counties, governmental corruption and thievery of Fjoebiden & son, Pelosi, Clinton-Hildabeast, Barry Oboso, Antifa riots, etc.

      • dunedin

        August 21, 2022 at 6:56 am

        so no actual argument from the Republican side, just culture war trash?
        as normal, the republicans haven’t had a real policy in over three decades.

  • Craig Vincent Mitchell

    August 19, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    osgood is a Racist who belongs in Prison.

  • Phil Morton

    August 20, 2022 at 2:14 am

    DeSantis has gone after the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Sheriff and now the School Board. I’m seeing a pattern here of a Republican Governor trying to remove elected Democratic officials. Seems a bit tyrannical and calculated.

    • Ronald Williams

      August 20, 2022 at 11:11 am

      It’s good for the Republic of the USA and “We The People”.

  • Duval County School Superintendent

    August 20, 2022 at 3:45 am

    I wish they would investigate the Duval County superintendent of schools.

    • MH/Duval

      August 20, 2022 at 8:40 am

      See the comment above from Phil Morton.

      The statewide grand jury is an example of a witch hunt that the party formerly known as the GOP is so snxious to brandish in their debates.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    August 20, 2022 at 8:08 am

    Nathalie Lynch-Walsh Ph.D told you so. Vote for her August 23!

  • R Ftl

    August 23, 2022 at 10:31 am

    Do you people actually look over these reports or understand how these positions work? You should. These are supposed to be non-partisan positions, if you see them as Democrats, they are obviously doing their job with a visible partisan bias and probably should be removed for that reason alone. That’s not what the report says. The report found gross incompetence and/or fraud that will cost the Broward taxpayer millions of dollars. The members named and recommended for removal were acting with an “good ol’ boy” mentality and were making fixing these issues impossible with critiques, recommendations for change, and diverging ideas being overruled. This level of review is needed for entities that have degraded to this extent. Just because an uninformed public keeps voting for the person they are told to vote for doesn’t mean that person is performing well.

Comments are closed.


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