School Board Systematically Thwarts FBI on Taxpayers' Dime | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

School Board Systematically Thwarts FBI on Taxpayers' Dime

Officials lawyering up, high-ranking personnel angry about possible leaks, people dodging the FBI, and the top man trying to assure everyone that the place isn't full of crooks.

No, this isn't about the Nixon White House; it's the Broward County School Board.

Here's the text of 

the memo  that just came across the transom from Ed Marko, the School Board's general counsel (or "Esq.," as he likes to refer to himself), to Superintendent James Notter. The memo, subject line "Federal Investigation," was sent to School Board employees in the embattled construction department. Does Notter tell our public employees to cooperate with the feds? Of course not. That would be the right thing to do. Instead he tells them explicitly that they don't have to talk to the FBI if they don't want to and, if they want to lawyer up, well, the School Board will provide them a lawyer free of charge.

That's right, the board is using taxpayers' money for lawyers to protect the School Board from the FBI. Somebody needs to let them know that the people who pay their salaries -- i.e., the taxpayers -- don't want to dole out money for obfuscating lawyers. No, we want the feds to clean up a School Board that has wasted hundreds of millions of our dollars in a building frenzy that allowed greedheads like Beverly Gallagher to manipulate tens of millions of dollars worth of construction projects in exchange for bribe money. 

We don't want our School Board to behave like a criminal racket. We want it to act like a responsible governmental body that is about education rather than political juice and cold hard cash.


You can see the outrageous memo after the jump.  


To: James Notter, Superintendent of Schools

From: Ed Marko, Esq.

Date: September 24, 2009

Subject: Federal Investigation

In light of the recent events which include a federal probe where numerous District employees have been asked to provide statements to the FBI, the Ofifice of the School Board Attorney suggests to employees that if contacted by the FBI, or any other law enforcement agency to provide a statement concerning this specific matter, the following options are available:

   1. The employee may provide a voluntary statement;

   2. The employee may decline to provide a statement; or

   3. The employee may choose to give a statement with legal representation provided by the School Board at the School Board's expense.

It is the recommendation of this Office that the employee advise any investigator that they request legal representation during the inquiry. The employee would then contact the General Counsel's Office at 754-321-2050 to coordinate legal services.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.