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Governor Ron DeSantis Suspends Four Broward School Board Members from Office

Press release from the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Broward School Board Members Patricia Good, Donna Korn, Ann Murray, and Laurie Rich Levinson from office following the recommendations of the Twentieth Statewide Grand Jury to suspend these board members due to their incompetence, neglect of duty, and misuse of authority. Even four years after the events of February 14, 2018, the final report of the Grand Jury found that a safety-related alarm that could have possibly saved lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School “was and is such a low priority that it remains uninstalled at multiple schools” and “students continue to be educated in unsafe, aging, decrepit, moldy buildings that were supposed to have been renovated years ago.” These are inexcusable actions by school board members who have shown a pattern of emboldening unacceptable behavior, including fraud and mismanagement, across the district. 

These suspensions are effective immediately. To read Executive Order 22-202, click here.

“It is my duty to suspend people from office when there is clear evidence of incompetence, neglect of duty, misfeasance, or malfeasance,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The findings of the Statewide Grand Jury affirm the work of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Commission. We are grateful to the members of the jury who have dedicated countless hours to this mission, and we hope this suspension brings the Parkland community another step towards justice. This action is in the best interest of the residents and students of Broward County and all citizens of Florida.” 

Today, Governor DeSantis also made four appointments to the Broward County School Board in the place of the four suspended members:

  • Torey Alston, former Commissioner of the Broward County Board of County Commissioners and President of Indelible Solutions;
  • Manual “Nandy” A. Serrano, member of the Florida Sports Foundation Board of Directors and CEO and Founder of Clubhouse Private Wealth;
  • Ryan Reiter, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Director of Government Relations for Kaufman Lynn Construction; and
  • Kevin Tynan, Attorney with Richardson and Tynan, who previously served on the Broward County School Board and South Broward Hospital District.

The Twentieth Statewide Grand Jury was impaneled by the Florida Supreme Court in February 2019, following the tragic loss of 17 individuals at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one year prior. The Statewide Grand Jury was asked to examine four issues, including whether public entities and school officials committed fraud and deceit by mismanaging funds devoted to school safety. In its final report, the statewide grand jury found that these board members mismanaged the SMART Program, a multimillion-dollar bond specifically solicited for school safety and renovation initiatives. The Statewide Grand Jury also found that the Board was aware of serious problems with the SMART Program, including former Superintendent Runcie’s inability or unwillingness to manage those problems, yet did not take action. In concluding and issuing its final report, the Statewide Grand Jury recommended the suspension of four current school board members from office. The Statewide Grand Jury also mentioned a now-former fifth school board member, Rosalind Osgood, who is no longer working as a school board member and is therefore not subject to the Governor’s executive suspension authority.

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To read the full Statewide Grand Jury report, click here.

  • Before blaming the school board, shouldn’t we be:
    1. ensuring that the school board has adequate funding (capital and O&M) to accomplish the work. Most often, they struggle to manage a multi year capital program just to tread water. with committed projects already in the financial pipeline, this can be a challenge to retrofit spiraling facilities overdue for replacement. was state funding provided for this mandate. suspect not. What about the unpredicted material and labor escalation in construction over the past 3 years.
    2. ensuring personnel on staff qualified to manage the facilities of what is typically one of the largest facility managers in the county. Alachua County doesnt have a single engineer or architect on staff based on position titles.
    3. Stop this incessant government sanctioned quest to arm everyone walking down the street and act to protect children.

    bottom line.. DeSantis is a bully that is doing everything possible to purge legitimately elected officials statewide.

    • Jass, question: 1. do you sleep and eat with your ideological-compliance mask on? 2. Do you want all the kids in school wearing medical looking masks? 3. do you wear the medical looking mask while out in public? 4. Do you want
      Desantis to require everyone get a Vax shot & wear a mask?

  • Before blaming the school board, shouldn’t we be:
    1. ensuring that the school board has adequate funding (capital and O&M) to accomplish the work. Most often, they struggle to manage a multi year capital program just to tread water. with committed projects already in the financial pipeline, this can be a challenge to retrofit spiraling facilities overdue for replacement. was state funding provided for this mandate. suspect not. What about the unpredicted material and labor escalation in construction over the past 3 years.
    2. ensuring personnel on staff qualified to manage the facilities of what is typically one of the largest facility managers in the county. Alachua County doesnt have a single engineer or architect on staff based on position titles.
    3. Stop this incessant government sanctioned quest to arm everyone walking down the street and act to protect children.

    bottom line.. DeSantis is a bully that is doing everything possible to purge legitimately elected officials statewide.

    • Jass, Read the book, “Why meadow died” and then see if your comments make sense. Written by Meadow Pollacks dad. She died in a hail of bullets at Parkland.

      This school board and their principal felt they were in a position of authority and no one had the audacity to question them.
      Sound familiar?

      Great job Governor DeSantis. Now come and clean up Gainesville.

      • He’s making his list, checking it twice, gonna figure out who’s naughty and nice….

  • good, now do city of gainesville, acsb, & county govt. there has been fraud and mismanagement going on for at least the last 20 years!

  • Suspend, fire, demote, all this is useless until school boards get off their kiesters and secure the schools.

    • I don’t know about all that but I feel that masking kids at school is child abuse. Anyone who was for that policy should be removed.

  • A Governor that is setting the example for the entire Nation. Those School Board Officials did absolutely nothing to alleviate the safety concerns of many of the schools under their watch. A wake up call to every Board to take your job and authority seriously or leave. Great job Governor DeSantis.

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