UPDATE: Embattled Broward education chief Robert Runcie offered to step down as Broward County Public Schools’ superintendent during a school board meeting determining his fate Tuesday night.
Runcie agreed to a “mutual separation” as the school district’s leader as board members discussed his arrest for allegedly lying to a grand jury.
“If the environment is not as such that I can do my very best, I’m willing to discuss a path to a mutual agreement of separation,” Runcie said.
While speaking, Runcie said to BCPS Board Member Lori Alhadeff, “I know you’ve been in enormous amounts of pain that none of us can ever imagine. I guess I’m probably part of the source of that in some way. If it’s going to give you peace and it’s going to give you and those other parents who remain angry, because I don’t see how there’s anything else I can do, if it’s going to give you that, I will step aside.”
Alhadeff lost her daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff, in the Feb. 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Before announcing his offer to step down as superintendent, Runcie posted a video statement on his arrest that said he would be vindicated of the perjury charge. He also described his arrest as politically charged.
If board members decide to take action, they could vote to remove Runcie from his position on Thursday.
Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie is speaking out publicly for the first time since his arrest on a felony perjury charge.
Runcie is accused of contacting witnesses in a grand jury corruption case to prepare for his testimony, and prosecutors allege that he lied about making the contact with witnesses under oath.
The top Broward school official signed a multi-year contract with the Broward school district, which is the sixth largest school district in the country, three months before the Parkland massacre.
Runcie received a six-year contract extension worth an estimated $3.5 million in cash and benefits. Now the school board is examining the possibility of voiding the contract because of the criminal charge.
In a video message Runcie proclaimed that he will be fully vindicated, meanwhile, the School Board is discussing his fate.
The Board is expected to reach a consensus about his future today, ahead of a vote Thursday.
His attorneys say he will plead not guilty. Runcie is due back in court May 12th. If convicted on the felony perjury charge, he faces up to 5 years behind bars.