Florida's governor suspends 4 Broward County School Board members

Gov. Ron DeSantis cites 'clear evidence of incompetence, neglect of duty, misfeasance or malfeasance'
Posted at 2:23 PM, Aug 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-26 14:53:31-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday suspended four Broward County School Board members following a grand jury recommendation.

Patricia Good, Donna Korn, Ann Murray and Laurie Rich Levinson have been suspended effective immediately for "incompetence, neglect of duty, and misuse of authority," according to a release from the governor's office.

A statewide grand jury found that a safety alarm "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."

In its final report, grand jury said the board members mismanaged the SMART Program, a multi-million-dollar bond designed for school safety and renovation initiatives.

The governor's office said these are "inexcusable actions by school board members" in the wake of the 2018 deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

"It is my duty to suspend people from office when there is clear evidence of incompetence, neglect of duty, misfeasance or malfeasance," DeSantis said. "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."

DeSantis appointed Torey Alston, Manual Serrano, Ryan Reiter and Kevin Tynan to the Broward County School Board, which has nine members.