Unlicensed To Lead: The Ron Morgan Story

You good folks spurred me in the post on Becky Blackwood to look into the licensing of Broward County School Board Chief Building Official Ronald Morgan.

Or should I say the lack of licensing of Chief Building Official Ronald Morgan.

Morgan, who makes in excess of $100,000 a year, is in charge of enforcing code at all district schools and all the projects in the board's $3 billion construction budget. A check of licensing at the states Department of Business and Professional Regulation shows that Morgan doesn't have the required CBO license.

I also got a hold of a January 5 email authored by the school board auditor David Rhodes on the matter. Here's what Rhodes wrote:

I looked at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation website today and found that Mr. Morgan's Building Code Administrator status has not changed, therefore he is still not a licensed CBO. He does however have a valid inspector's license and a valid plan reviewer's license. It is my understanding that the district continues to pay a licensed consultant to provide review and signatures that a CBO would provide under normal circumstances for items such as building permits and certificates of occupancy.  

Mm-kay. So the board is paying a licensed consultant to do a job the school board is already paying $100,000 a year for? How ridiculous is that?

Morgan did have a provisional license as a building administrator, but that expired on March 31 of last year. Morgan claimed publicly during an audit committee meeting that he has taken and passed the state test for the CBO license and that the lack of licensure is simply a paperwork issue. So maybe this problem will soon be resolved, but somehow I doubt it.

Not only does he not have a CBO license, but Morgan also doesn't have a bachelor's degree, which was a requirement of the position. When he was initially hired for the position on September 7, 2005, the board mandated that he complete the degree no later than June 30, 2008.

Still no degree.

Get it? The chief building official overseeing all of our schools doesn't have the required license or education. Of all the building officials in all the world, our school board apparently couldn't hire one that was qualified. Why then should we have any confidence in the way that the board spends our tax money? What does that say about the state of the school board's construction department, which has been wracked by decades of corruption?

Well see, but it sure doesn't say anything good.

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Bob Norman
Contact: Bob Norman