‘I have open eyes’: Republican appointees take Broward school board seats after suspensions

After a state grand jury recommended the suspension of four Broward County School Board members, Gov. Ron DeSantis tasked four Republican men with replacing the four women, but only one will stay until after the 2024 election. The other three will be replaced after the November election.

Torey Alston, Ryan Reiter, Manual Serrano, and Kevin Tynan are the appointees who are replacing Patricia Good, Donna Korn, Ann Murray, and Laurie Rich Levinson, who DeSantis suspended on Friday after the grand jury accused them of “incompetence, neglect of duty, misfeasance or malfeasance.”

Alston, 38, and Tynan, 63, had run for a Broward school board seat and lost. Alston, who was a Broward County commissioner also by appointment, ran in 2012. Tynan was appointed in 2009 after Beverly Gallagher’s suspension over federal bribery charges in a case involving undercover FBI agents, and he ran in 2010 against Good, who is a state senator.

“I have open eyes, I’m going to look at everything,” Tynan said adding he starts next week.

Serrano, 52, a former professional baseball player, has experience in finance. Reiter, 36, a retired U.S. Marine, graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, and he has experience in the construction sector. Max Schachter, whose 14-year-old son Alex died during the Feb. 14, 2018 massacre at MSD, celebrated the change.

“I hope that this sends a message to all school boards across the country that if you don’t prioritize safety and security, you’re going to be held accountable,” Schachter said.

Alston, who graduated from Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach and was a Broward County commissioner also by appointment, will serve the school board term that ends in 2024.

Reiter, who was with Kaufman Lynn Construction; Serrano with Clubhouse Private Wealth, and Tynan with the South Broward Hospital District Board, will serve the short term.

“It’s a short time but there’s some very important work that needs to be done in the meantime,” Tynan said.

Ana Fusco, the president of the Broward Teachers Union and a supporter of Broward Superintendent Vickie L. Cartwright, released a statement Friday saying DeSantis’s decision was “clearly” politically motivated.

“He intends to continue to ignore the voters and make a mockery of our democratic principles,” Fusco said.

Korn, who is running for reelection and advanced to a runoff election on Tuesday, agreed with Fusco.

“Broward voters still have the right and power to decide for themselves who should represent them on the school board,” Korn said in a statement.

Murray and Rich Levinson are retiring.

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