DeSantis suspends 4 Broward school board members named in grand jury report

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended four Broward school board members after a grand jury report accused them of “deceit, malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty and incompetence” and recommended their removal from office.

In a statement, the governor’s office said Patricia Good, Donna Korn, Ann Murray and Laurie Rich Levinson were being suspended “due to their incompetence, neglect of duty, and misuse of authority.”

“Even four years after the events of February 14, 2018, the final report of the Grand Jury found that a safety-related alarm that could have possibly saved lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School ‘was and is such a low priority that it remains uninstalled at multiple schools,’ and ‘students continue to be educated in unsafe, aging, decrepit, moldy buildings that were supposed to have been renovated years ago,’” the statement reads. “These are inexcusable actions by school board members who have shown a pattern of emboldening unacceptable behavior, including fraud and mismanagement, across the district.”

Also in a statement, DeSantis said it was his “duty to suspend people from office when there is clear evidence of incompetence, neglect of duty, misfeasance or malfeasance.”

“The findings of the Statewide Grand Jury affirm the work of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Commission,” he said. “We are grateful to the members of the jury who have dedicated countless hours to this mission and we hope this suspension brings the Parkland community another step towards justice. This action is in the best interest of the residents and students of Broward County and all citizens of Florida.”

DeSantis appointed four replacements:

Torey Alston, former Commissioner of the Broward County Board of County Commissioners and President of Indelible SolutionsManual “Nandy” A. Serrano, member of the Florida Sports Foundation Board of Directors, and CEO and Founder of Clubhouse Private WealthRyan Reiter, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Director of Government Relations for Kaufman Lynn ConstructionKevin Tynan, Attorney with Richardson and Tynan, who previously served on the Broward County School Board and South Broward Hospital District

Korn was the first of the four suspended school board members to publicly respond to the news. She released a statement to Local 10 News.

“I am very disappointed in the Governor’s decision to once again put politics above education in Broward County,” Korn said in part. “Despite the Governor’s actions, Broward voters still have the right and power to decide for themselves who should represent them on the school board.”

This is a breaking story. Stay with Local 10 News and Local10.com for updates.

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