Broward County School Board members suspended
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday suspended four Broward County School Board members for engaging in what the governor described as “incompetence, neglect of duty, and misuse of authority.” He said the decision is in response to findings of a statewide grand jury that was tasked with investigating the Broward School Board’s response to the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting that left 17 students and staff dead and 17 injured.
Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed four men to the Broward County School Board to replace the four women he suspended Friday. Three of the new appointees have longstanding ties to the Broward Republican Party, DeSantis or his predecessor, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott.
The four new appointees are Torey Alston, Manuel “Nandy” A. Serrano, Ryan Reiter and Kevin Tynan, an attorney and former Broward School Board member.
Broward, Florida’s most Democratic county, now has four of its nine School Board members appointed by DeSantis, the Republican governor. Historically, school board members are elected in nonpartisan races; school districts are funded primarily by countywide property taxes.
READ MORE HERE: DeSantis suspends four Broward County School Board members, appoints replacements
The suspensions stem from a statewide grand jury report, released last week, that investigated the School Board’s response to the Feb. 14, 2018, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which left 17 students and staffers dead and 17 injured. DeSantis convened the grand jury after the shooting.
Here are the appointees:
DeSantis appointed Alston, 38, to the Broward County Commission in November to replace Commissioner Dale Holness, who resigned to run for Congress. His term on the county commission was supposed to run through November 2024.
Prior to that, Alston was the Florida Department of Transportation’s chief of staff for three years. He had also been chief of staff for two former Broward County commissioners, and was an executive director and economic equity and diversity compliance officer with Miami-Dade Public Schools.
He is president of Indelible Solutions, according to DeSantis’ press release. He is also the president of three other companies: TCET Holding Companies, The Chess Group Inc. and the Blanche Ely Class of 2002 Inc., according to the Florida Division of Corporations.
Since 2013, he has contributed $4,470.20 to several Democratic and Republican candidates. Of that amount, $3,000 went to DeSantis on July 1, the most funds he has given to any one candidate.
Reiter, 36, is the director of government relations for Kaufman Lynn Construction, the state said. He is a Marine Corps veteran.
In 2015, he was featured in Florida Politics’ “’30 under 30’ rising stars of Florida politics”. At the time he was an aide to former Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca.
He told Florida Politics that he worked on the reelection campaign of former Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti and was a government affairs manager for the Children’s Services Council of Broward County.
Reiter has also donated to DeSantis’ campaign, making six contributions from March to July totaling $288.
Manuel ‘Nandy’ A. Serrano
Serrano sits on the Florida Sports Foundation Board of Directors, the state said. According to the organization’s website, it is a nonprofit that supports sports in the state.
He is also the founder and CEO of Clubhouse Private Wealth, the state said. The firm’s Linkedin profile describes itself as a financial consulting agency for athletes and other clients.
Tynan, a former chairman of the Broward Republican Party, has previously served on the Broward County School Board. He was appointed to the board in 2009 by Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican at the time. Crist is now running against DeSantis as the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the November election.
Tynan had replaced Beverly Gallagher, a Broward School Board member who was suspended after she was arrested on federal corruption charges. Gallagher was ultimately convicted.
Tynan ran for the School Board in 2010 but he lost to Patricia Good, the current board vice chair who was suspended Friday by DeSantis.
Scott, when he was governor, appointed Tynan to Broward’s Judicial Nominating Commission, which reviews applicants and recommends to the governor appointments for open judgeships. He is an attorney with the firm Richardson & Tynan.
This story was originally published August 26, 2022 4:43 PM.