Hours after Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie was arrested for lying to a state grand jury three weeks ago during an official school board proceeding, State Senator Perry E. Thurston directly blamed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for having the embattle Runcie arrested.
During an interview with The Floridian on Wednesday, Sen. Thurston, who has recently announced his congressional campaign to replace the late-Rep. Alcee Hastings, said that the Runcie arrest was “overkill” and that the arrest was part of Gov. DeSantis’ “promise to go after the school board.”
“I want to get more information about this. I think it’s kind of overkill,” said Sen. Thurston. “The Governor made a promise to go after the school board and the school system. I think this is a part of that, but I would like to get more information.”
Runcie, who has faced significant pushback for his support of the Promise program— the measure that many Floridian’s believe allowed the Parkland School shooter to the committee his heinous crime — has been released on his own recognizance.
After his arrest, Runcie’s office put out this statement:
“It is a sad day in Broward County and across Florida when politics become more important than the interests of our students. Superintendent Runcie has fully cooperated with law enforcement throughout this statewide grand jury process. This morning, we received a copy of an indictment that does not shed any light on what false statement is alleged to have been made. He will continue to be transparent with the board, the parents, and the public with any new information he receives.”
Runcie is expected to plead innocent but could be out of a job in the very near future.
Because he was appointed to his job, Gov. DeSantis cannot remove Runcie, only the school board can fire him.