Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie will receive $740,000 in 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 Aug. 10 under an agreement approved Tuesday by the school board Tuesday in a 5-4 vote. He has served as superintendent since 2011. Opponents to Runcie's severance package who cite it as too generous include Lori Alhadeff and Debra Hixon. Both had family members killed in the Feb. 14, 2018, mass shooting 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. He is accused of lying to a federal grand jury. 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 pay, $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. That cost is not included in the severance package. Runcie has agreed to pay that total back if he is found guilty or pleads guilty or no contest. He would face up to five years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors say Runcie lied before the grand jury six weeks ago about 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 say Runcie lied when he said he had not contacted anyone about the Hunter case.
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 Alhadeff, whose daughter was killed in the shooting.
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