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Broward School Board Discussing $743K Severance Deal For Embattled Supt. Robert Runcie

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The Broward County School Board is discussing a proposed separation agreement on Tuesday that would end embattled Superintendent Robert Runcie’s run with the Broward County School District.

Video Transcript

MARYBEL RODRIGUEZ: Happening now, the Broward School Board is meeting to finalize a separation agreement with superintendent Robert Runcie after the board and Runcie's lawyers came to an agreement of a package totaling more than $700,000.

CBS4's Joan Murray is live in Fort Lauderdale with the latest. Joan.

JOAN MURRAY: Well, good afternoon, Marybel. This was supposed to be a one-hour meeting. It is now gone three hours, and it is likely to go a lot longer. There seems to be no consensus among the board members exactly when Robert Runcie's last day should be with the district and how much money he is due.

- There's been some numbers thrown out there that the full value of his contract could be sought.

JOAN MURRAY: It was clear from the get go ending Broward school superintendent Robert Runcie's nearly 10-year relationship with the district would not be easy as the school board debates a separation agreement drafted Monday. In a rare public statement, the superintendent's wife spoke of the impact the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting had on her husband.

DIANA RUNCIE: I saw him come home the night of that tragedy and cry himself to sleep saying I can't believe he killed my babies. I saw him stay up well past midnight writing handwritten notes to every person in that district impacted by the tragedy.

JOAN MURRAY: The superintendent said he will vigorously fight the perjury charge he's facing since his arrest last month. Runcie is accused of lying to a grand jury investigating how school funds are used for safety measures. Runcie agreed to step down after his arrest.

NORA RUPERT: --interim can certainly have, you know, kind of baby steps with Mr. Runcie until the end of June. And then after that, Mr. Runcie is more of a consultant, and we're paying him for those 90 days. That is what intent-- I didn't expect Mr. Runcie to sit at home because he's not that type. I expected him to still have a part and a great part into helping the transition, which I know he very appropriately volunteered to do that.

JOAN MURRAY: The board is debating how long he will stay on during a transition to a new superintendent and how much money he will receive. According to terms of the exit package worth some $743,000, the superintendent would receive 90-days salary, 20-weeks severance, accrued sick and vacation time, medical/dental benefits, a maximum $25,000 in legal fees for the exit negotiations, and $80,000 toward the state retirement system contingent on Runcie successfully fighting the perjury charge against him.

So once more, the debate continues to go on. If the board does do a vote today, this meeting is supposed to be followed by a workshop at which time the board is going to be discussing an interim superintendent. We'll keep you posted on everything that happens.

Reporting live in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Joan Murray, CBS4 News.