School superintendent arrested on charge of perjury over Parkland shooting

FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie addresses the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, in Sunrise, Fla. Runcie was arrested Wednesday, April 21, 2021, by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. An indictment says Runcie lied while testifying three weeks ago before a grand jury investigating circumstances surrounding the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (Susan Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie addresses the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, in Sunrise, Fla. Runcie was arrested Wednesday, April 21, 2021, by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. An indictment says Runcie lied while testifying three weeks ago. (Susan Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

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UPDATED 9:33 AM PT – Thursday, April 22, 2021

He’s weathered the pandemic and a mass shooting. Broward County Public Schools superintendent Robert Runcie is now facing his biggest challenge: criminal charges of perjury.

Runcie was arrested Wednesday during an official proceeding. Also arrested was school board attorney Barbara Myrick who left the Broward County Jail without commenting.

According to the arresting agency, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the 20th Statewide Grand Jury charged Runcie and Myrick related to their testimony before the jury.

The grand jury was impaneled to investigate possible failures in following school-related safety laws and mismanaging funds solicited for school safety initiatives. It’s unclear what the superintendent has been accused of lying about.

Safety was priority one statewide after Parkland Stoneman Douglas High School’s mass shooting in 2018 that claimed 17 lives. Some Parkland parents blamed the superintendent for security lapses after the tragedy.

There have been efforts district wide to fortify schools and prevent violence. The district said despite the arrests, school operations will be uninterrupted. School board member Sarah Leonardi, herself a teacher, also said the staff is resilient.

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