Broward Superintendent Orders Administrators to Go on Leave or Resign After Grand Jury Report
Broward Superintendent Vicki Cartwright told three longtime administrators they needed to go on leave or resign while being investigated in the most recent development since Governor DeSantis suspended and replaced four Broward School Board members following a scathing grand jury recommendation.
A fourth employee, Mary Coker, director of procurement and warehousing services, was supposed to be told the same thing, several School Board members told the Sun Sentinel. However, the plan was abandoned because of Coker’s whistleblower status, as she supplied valuable information to the Grand Jury.
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Chief of Staff Jeff Moquin, Director of Diversity and School Climate David Watkins, and Assistant Chief Building Official Ron Morgan comprised the other three; sources told the Sun Sentinel. The removals presumably come at the behest of Tim Hay, director of the department of education’s office of safe schools, who wrote to the superintendent demanding their ouster.
Hay claimed the three administrators, under the stewardship of indicted former superintendent Runcie, “guided failed decisions on school safety.”
Moquin makes nearly $200,000 a year and has been blamed for the increasingly costly and multiple delays of building and renovation projects. The Sun Sentinel detailed Moquin’s apparent apathy.
The report said when Moquin was asked why the school district committed to more renovation work than it had money for, he responded, “it is what it is.”
Watkins makes nearly $150,000 a year, and while not suspected of anything specific, he refused to cooperate with police and, according to the Grand Jury report, was defensive on the stand.
Morgan makes nearly $120,000 a year and faces accusations similar to Moquin for unnecessarily delaying and increasing building costs.
One administrator who hasn’t been named yet is Deputy Superintendent Judith Marte, who makes $225,000 a year. She resigned from her position as Chief Financial Officer at the end of Runcie’s tenure. The grand jury accused her of misleading the School Board about how increasing renovation costs would impact taxpayers at that time. She was rehired by Cartwright in her new role but is set to retire permanently in 2025.
No news on the administrator’s reaction is available yet, though an update is expected next week. Moquin declined the Sun Sentinel’s request for comment, and the other three administrators were unreachable.
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