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Broward County (Fla.) superintendent tells 4 administrators to quit or take a leave of absence

Sept. 12, 2022
State officials want the district to remove the administrators, who were named in a grand jury report criticizing school operations in Broward County.

Broward County (Fla.) School Superintendent Vickie Cartwright has told four longtime district administrators that they need to resign or go on leave while they are investigated by a grand jury.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Cartwright's action comes after Tim Hay, director of the Florida Department of Education's Office of Safe Schools, sent a letter demanding the superintendent remove employees named in the grand jury report, as well as procurement staff associated with the district’s school renovation program.

The four administrators have been identified as Jeff Moquin, chief of staff; David Watkins, director of diversity and school climate; Ron Morgan, assistant chief building official; and Mary Coker, director of procurement and warehousing services.

Cartwright’s directive comes three weeks after a damning grand jury report was released and two weeks after Gov. Ron DeSantis,  following the grand jury's recommendation, ousted four members from the Broward County School Board.

Moquin, who has been with the district since 1993 and makes $197,641, supervises the district's building department, which was blamed for long delays in the district's school renovation program. 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 failed to cooperate with police and was excessively guarded when he testified to the grand jury, the report said. He makes $144,769 and has been with the district since 1997.

Morgan was one of several building department officials blamed in the grand jury report for outdated and slow inspections of construction projects. He has been with the district since 1993 and makes $197,641.

Coker wasn't named in the grand jury report at all, but still made it on Cartwright's list, school board members said.

Hay's letter said procurement officials involved in the bond program should be removed. But the grand jury report barely mentions the procurement department. The report instead blames the district's building and facilities departments, as well as former Superintendent Robert Runcie and the School Board, for the slow progress and skyrocketing costs of the bond program.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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