FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After a state grand jury made a recommendation that four members of the Broward County School Board should be suspended, Governor Ron DeSantis assigned four Republican men to the task of replacing the four women on the board. However, only one of the men will remain in office until after the election in 2024. The remaining three will be replaced after the election in November.
Torey Alston, Ryan Reiter, Manual Serrano, and Kevin Tynan have been appointed to replace Patricia Good, Donna Korn, Ann Murray, and Laurie Rich Levinson. These individuals were suspended by DeSantis on Friday after the grand jury accused them of “incompetence, neglect of duty, misfeasance, or malfeasance.”
Both Alston, 38, and Tynan, 63, were unsuccessful in their campaigns for seats on the Broward school board. After Beverly Gallagher was suspended in 2009 due to federal bribery accusations in a case involving undercover FBI agents, Tynan was appointed to the position, and in 2010, he competed against Good, who is now a state senator.
“I have open eyes, I’m going to look at everything,” Tynan said, adding he starts next week.
Reiter, now 36 years old and retired from the United States Marine Corps, graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Max Schachter, whose son Alex was 14 years old when he was killed in the MSD shooting on February 14, 2018, was happy with the new 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,” said Schachter.
Alston went to Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach and graduated from there. He was also appointed to serve as a Broward County commissioner, and he will now finish the rest of the term on the school board, which will end in 2024.
The short term will be served by Reiter, who most recently worked for Kaufman Lynn Construction; Serrano, who most recently worked for Clubhouse Private Wealth; and Tynan, who most recently worked for the South Broward Hospital District Board.
“It’s a short time but there’s some very important work that needs to be done in the meantime,” Tynan said.
On Friday, Ana Fusco, the president of the Broward Teachers Union and a supporter of Broward Superintendent Vickie L. Cartwright, issued a statement in which she said that DeSantis’ decision was “clearly” driven by political reasons.
“He intends to continue to ignore the voters and make a mockery of our democratic principles,” said Fusco.
Fusco’s view is shared by Korn, who is seeking re-election and advanced to the runoff election on Tuesday.
“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 have decided to retire.