CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie and School Board General Counsel Barbara Myrick were arrested Wednesday in connection to a grand jury investigation into possible failures in following school-related safety laws and mismanaging funds solicited for school safety initiatives.
Runcie, 59, was charged with perjury in an official proceeding, a felony, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), which is handling the investigation.
And Myrick, 72, was charged with unlawful disclosure of statewide grand jury proceedings, also a felony, according to FDLE.
The 20th Statewide Grand Jury charged Runcie and Myrick related to their testimony before the grand jury, which was impaneled to investigate following the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that took the lives of 17 students and staff.
Runcie has been the leader of the nation’s sixth-largest school district, with more than 250,000 students, since 2011.
Runcie and Myrick were booked into the Broward County Jail. Runcie was released on his own recognizance. Information on Myrick wasn't available.
Attorneys representing Runcie released a statement saying he plans to plead not guilty.
“We are confident that he will be exonerated and he intends to continue to carry out his responsibilities with the highest level of integrity and moral standards, as he has done for nearly ten years in his role as Superintendent,” the statement said.
The Office of Statewide Prosecution is prosecuting the case, according to FDLE.
Information relating to the grand jury has been sealed by the court.
Broward School Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood said in a statement after Wednesday's arrests that it’s a difficult time for the district and its staff.
"In response to today’s events, the School Board of Broward County, Florida (SBBC) will provide transparency, accountability, and integrity as we continue to focus on delivering the highest quality educational experience for our students, teachers, and staff," Osgood said in the statement. "As legal processes continue, the School District will operate as normal under the District Leadership Team."
School Board member Lori Alhadeff, whose district includes Coral Springs, Parkland, and Tamarac and who lost her daughter Alyssa in the shooting, said she asked the district’s chief of human resources to review all school board policies after the arrests.
“As more specific details come to light, I will act accordingly, in the best interests of the students and staff at BCPS,” she said.
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