Broward Co. superintendent offers to step down amid grand jury investigation

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie (Photo: Broward Sheriff's Office)

The superintendent of the Florida school district where 17 students and staff died in a 2018 high school massacre has offered to step down after board members discussed his arrest for allegedly lying to a grand jury.

According to WSVN, Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie reportedly contacted witnesses in a criminal case and then lied about it when asked, prosecutors said Monday.

Tuesday, hours after Runcie released a video statement saying he will be vindicated and wouldn't go, he told the school board there was a clear majority of members who didn't want him to stay while the case against him is resolved, so he offered to step aside.

The statewide prosecutor’s office released the details of the case against Runcie after his attorneys filed a court motion last week demanding specifics about the charges against their client, the Sun Sentinel reported.

The state’s response explains why Runcie was charged with perjury in an official proceeding and why Broward Schools General Counsel Barbara Myrick was charged with disclosing the grand jury’s top-secret proceedings.

The charges stem from the January indictment of former Broward Schools technology chief Tony Hunter, who was charged with rigging contracts for technology equipment for the district.

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Runcie contacted witnesses in Hunter’s case to prepare for his own testimony, prosecutors said. Myrick also contacted witnesses and discussed them with Runcie before he testified, which helped form the basis of the charges against her, officials said.

Runcie was arrested last Wednesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at district headquarters. According to an indictment issued by the grand jury earlier this month and released after Runcie’s arrest, the superintendent lied when he testified before the panel last month, but it gave no specifics about the alleged falsehood.

The jury is investigating whether districts are following school safety laws, including those implemented after the Feb. 14, 2018, slayings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland.

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Attorneys for Runcie, 59, released a statement last week saying he plans to plead not guilty. If convicted of perjury, Runcie faces up to five years in prison. Jail records show Runcie is free on his own recognizance.

Myrick could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Associated Press and WSVN contributed to this report.