Taxpayer Money Used by Ousted Broward School Board Members in Battle to Keep Grand Jury Details Secret
Two former Broward School Board Members spent $120,000 in taxpayer funds fighting their removal after the scathing statewide Grand Jury report.
Ann Murray and Donna Korn failed to keep details secret from the grand jury. Governor DeSantis took the grand jury’s recommendation and suspended the two. However, having received the report in April 2021, the two board members persuaded a judge to cut out key paragraphs and delay the release of the report for 16 months, according to the Sun Sentinel. Its release kicked off the recent string of developments regarding Broward County school officials.
Ousted Broward schools board members should reimburse the district and Broward taxpayers for the costs of their attempts to suppress the grand jury report. Full stop. The current board should take immediate action to ensure this is done. https://t.co/gc5SZgIXrM
— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) September 11, 2022
JUST IN: Outsed Broward School Board Members Donna Korn and Anne Murray spent $120,000 of TAXPAYER DOLLARS to prevent the Grand Jury report from becoming public!! @smtravis
— Chris Nelson 🇺🇸 (@ReOpenChris) September 10, 2022
Over those 16 months, Murray and Korn racked up over 120,000 dollars in legal bills, according to a public records request by the Sun Sentinel. All of which the school district, and by extension, Broward County taxpayers, will be responsible for.
The Sun Sentinel reported that the current school board is working to rectify the situation.
“Some current School Board members now question whether it was a good use of district funds to pay for School Board members to go through multiple appeals to try to keep the report secret. At least one board member has suggested trying to seek reimbursement from the former board members.”
Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University, told the Sun Sentinel he’s not aware of any laws preventing school districts from paying grand jury-related legal costs, given it’s relevant to their jobs.
“It’s a political matter, and optics matter,” he said. “Is this a really good use of funds, especially at a time when you’re saying we need more money?”
Regardless, the current school board is still apprehensive about the use of the funds, Board member Sarah Leonardi told the Sun Sentinel.
“We show our priorities and values by how we spend our money,” “We should always prioritize our classrooms when it comes to how we use taxpayer dollars.”
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