Marjory Stoneman Douglas district's superintendent arrested on perjury charge

The superintendent of the Florida school district that includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was arrested on Wednesday morning and charged with perjury.

According to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) press release, Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, 59, was arrested and charged with perjury in an official proceeding. 

Broward County School Board General Counsel Barbara Myrick was also arrested and charged with unlawful disclosure of statewide grand jury proceedings. 

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Both charges are felonies in the state of Florida. 

Runcie was released on his own recognizance, The Associated Press noted.

According to a copy of the indictment posted by the Sun Sentinel, Runcie made false statements to a grand jury when he testified before the panel three weeks ago.

The grand jury was investigating four areas, according to the indictment: if schools that refuse or fail to follow safety laws are causing unnecessary and avoidable risk to students; if public entities accepted state funds that were conditioned on being used for safety measures while “knowingly failing to act;” if school officials mismanaged, failed to use or diverted funds from multibillion-dollar bonds that were specifically solicited for school safety initiatives; and if school officials underreported incidents of criminal activity to the Department of Education.

According to the AP, some of the safety laws being investigated were implemented after the fatal shooting.

The indictment does not specify the Runcie comments that resulted in the charge. 

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The news comes over three years after a gunman opened fire on the Majorie Stoneman Douglas High School campus, killing 17 students. 

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

In a statement to The Hill, the Broward County School District said that its board will focus on delivering the "highest quality educational experience" for students. 

"The School Board of Broward County, Florida (SBBC) will provide transparency, accountability and integrity as we continue to focus on delivering the highest quality educational experience for our students, teachers and staff. As legal processes continue, Broward County Public Schools will operate as normal under the District’s leadership team," the district said.  

Runcie has been the subject of criticism following the shooting. In March 2019, school board member Lori Alhadeff moved to have him ousted from his post, according to the AP. Alhadeff's 14-year-old daughter was killed in the attack at the high school. 

However, the board voted to retain Runcie. 

--Updated at 3:30 p.m.