State investigators are looking into a School Board member for misuse of power, according to several sources.
First reported by Buddy Nevins of Broward Beat, Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents have questioned numerous witnesses in the preliminary stages of a potentially wide ranging probe, sources say.
The investigators are acting on complaints that the Board member has been:
- Interfering in the administration of schools.
One allegation concerns a coach who allegedly made improper sexual comments to students. The Board member is accused of “protecting” the coach by interjecting themselves into the situation, according to one source.
- There are other allegations concerning the Board member allegedly calling principals about teachers and students.
From Coral Springs Talk – A parent has complained about the school board member allegedly accessing personal student information on a child via the principal. According to a former school board member David Thomas, “I see no reason whatsoever for a School Board member to have access to a student’s information. That’s not their job.”
- Interfering in business relationships by telling prospective customers not to finalize purchases of houses because of an alleged shortage of school facilities in the area.
This is alleged to be an attempt to squeeze more money out of developers for schools. “I can see where this type of conduct could be construed as racketeering. It’s like telling a store owner, ‘This is a very dangerous neighborhood unless you play ball with me,’” one lawyer and source told Browardbeat.
Several sources say principals and the official of a development company has been questioned over the past month,. The questioning was described as informal and preliminary at this point, with at least one set of interviews taking place in a restaurant.
News of that investigators are active again in Broward sent the higher ups at the School Board into bunker mode.
“They are panicking that if this comes out, it will damage chances of a bond issue,” one source said.
Superintendent Robert Runcie, who is pushing for a huge bond referendum as early as next year, could not be reached for comment.