'I am confident that I will be vindicated,' Robert Runcie says

Broward County superintendent accused of lying during grand jury testimony
Posted at 1:03 PM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 13:03:37-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since his arrest last week on a perjury charge.

Runcie thanked all those who have supported him and then read a statement from his lawyers suggesting that politics played a part in his arrest.

"I am confident that I will be vindicated, and I intend to continue to carry out my responsibilities as superintendent with the highest level of integrity and moral standards as I've done for nearly 10 years," Runcie said in the prepared video.

Runcie and Broward County School Board general counsel Barbara Myrick were arrested last Wednesday as part of a statewide grand jury investigation related to possible fraud for school safety initiatives and whether there was a failure to follow the mandates of school-related safety laws put into place after the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Robert Runcie arrest photo
Robert Runcie, 59, was booked into the main Broward County jail on April 21, 2021.

Attorneys for Runcie filed a motion to dismiss the charge, accusing the indictment of lacking "specificity." But a prosecutor for Florida's Office of Statewide Prosecution later revealed in a court filing that Runcie made contact with witnesses in the case of former district employee Tony Hunter, who was indicted earlier this year, to prepare for his own testimony.

Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Richard Mantei wrote that, when Runcie was asked if he spoke with anybody "who would have information about the Hunter situation," Runcie answered, "No, not that -- not that I'm aware of."

School board members were holding a meeting Tuesday to discuss the arrests.

"I look forward to due process being followed, where individuals are treated fairly through the normal judicial system," Runcie said in the video.