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Superintendent Robert Runcie, Broward School Board Could Be Hours Away From Reaching Separation Agreement

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CBS4's Joan Murray has more on the exit negotiations.

Video Transcript

- Right now at 5:00, exit negotiations. Broward school superintendent and the board could be just hours away from going their separate ways.

Robert Runcie offered to step aside days after his arrest in connection to his testimony before a grand jury investigating school safety.

- The superintendent's fate could be sealed tomorrow at a school-board meeting. CBS4's Joan Murray is sorting through all the ins and outs of this separation agreement, and she is live at the school-board headquarters in Fort Lauderdale with more. Joan.

JOAN MURRAY: Well, when the superintendent agreed to step away some two weeks ago, it was looking like the school district would be on the hook for more than a million dollars, but that number has come down quite a bit. Now it will all be up to the full school board whether to agree.

- I'm coming up with a number of $743,052. Is that what you have?

- That's the number I have as well. Yes, ma'am.

JOAN MURRAY: In a virtual meeting with Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie's lawyer, the district hammered out a proposed separation agreement worth some $743,000. Here's how it will break down. It will include 90 days salary, 20 weeks severance, accrued sick and vacation time, medical/dental benefits, a maximum $25,000 in legal fees for these exit negotiations, and $80,000 for the state retirement system, contingent on Runcie successfully fighting the perjury charge against him.

ROSALIND OSGOOD: It's very important that the takeaway not be that we're giving all of this money to Mr. Runcie because that's not accurate. There are certain expenses that are due like benefits, things to health-care providers, and those types of things that we have an obligation as a school board to pay to those entities.

ROBERT RUNCIE: I'm willing to discuss a path to a mutual agreement of separation.

JOAN MURRAY: The superintendent agreed to step down last month from the job he's held nearly a decade after his arrest on a perjury charge. He's accused of lying to a grand jury investigating school-safety funding in the wake of the Parkland tragedy three years ago.

In addition, the Broward School District has agreed to pay Runcie's legal fees connected to the criminal case, but the superintendent must pay the money back if he's not successful.

ROSALIND OSGOOD: So it was very important to me as the person that's been given the privilege of doing negotiations on behalf of the school board that what we bring forward is fair to Mr. Runcie. It protects the school board as well as bring the community to a place where we can begin to move forward.

JOAN MURRAY: The full school board will look at the proposal on Tuesday, deciding whether it's a fair cost to end Robert Runcie's run with the Broward School District.

So that meeting will get going at 9 o'clock in the morning. Depending on how this vote goes, we'll have a better idea on how things will be proceeding forward. Part of this agreement, as you heard, was that the superintendent would stay on for 90 days, but that would be more of a transition period while he preps an interim superintendent. The search for a new superintendent would not begin until later on in the summer.

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