Indicted Parkland Superintendent Receives $740,000 Severance The Broward County Judicial Complex on June 5, 2019. (Saul Martinez/Getty Images)
By Nick Koutsobinas | Wednesday, 12 May 2021 04:35 PM
Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie will receive a $740,000 severance pay after being indicted on a perjury charge by a grand jury investigating the 2018 school massacre in Parkland.
Runcie's tenure will end on Aug. 10. after being approved by the board on Tuesday in a 5-4 vote—he has served since 2011. Opponents to Runcie's severance package who cite it as 'too generous' include Lori Alhadef and Debra Hixon. Both had family members killed in the Feb. 14, 2018, attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people.
The deal came a month after Runcie was indicted on a perjury charge for lying to a federal grand jury about the shooting. Runcie has pleaded not guilty.
Runcie supporters said allowing him to leave "allows us to move on as a district and focus on students," according to Fox News.
The superintendent will receive $145,000 in severance, $112,000 in salary, $230,000 for unused vacation and sick days, $187,000 in payments to his pension plan, and $25,000 to repay his lawyer for negotiating his departure.
In addition, the board has agreed to pay for Runcie's criminal defense, which could cost between $100,000 and $350,000. The cost of which will not be included in the severance package. Runcie has agreed to pay that total back if he is found guilty or pleads no contest. He would face up to five years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors state Runcie lied before the grand jury six weeks ago over a criminal case against his former technology chief, Tony Hunter. The grand jury indicted Hunter on charges that he rigged a contract in exchange for a bribe. Hunter has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors state Runcie lied when he said he had not contacted anyone about the Hunter case. His only knowledge about the contract was from a presentation given earlier this year.
Runcie was a public face for the Broward school district in the aftermath of the shooting in Parkland. His supporters have praised him for raising the graduation rate, improving the schools districtwide, and reaching out to minority communities.
In 2019, Runcie survived a board 6-3 vote to have him fired. The attempt was led by Alhadef, whose daughter was slain in the shooting.