Is School Board Member Ann Murray Racist? You Be the Judge

When Broward School Board member Ann Murray worked as a school bus terminal supervisor for the district before her election, she oversaw a racially diverse crew of drivers. 

murrayann12.jpg
Murray
​​But that didn't stop her from letting racial slurs fly out of her mouth, according to complaints and testimony from several school district transportation employees, both black and white. Murray admitted to using the n word and was issued a written reprimand for "a serious breach of conduct that will not be tolerated" that violated the board's antidiscriminatory rules. 

A School Board investigation conducted in 2007, a year before her election to the board, shows that Murray's alleged use of racial epithets came to a head while she was overseeing the running of contracted school buses at the Super Bowl that year. She didn't respond to my request for comment on the matter. 

While working at the board's base of operations at Calder Race Track for that game held between the Giants and Patriots, Murray -- a white woman who speaks in a heavy accent from her native Boston -- was speaking with fellow supervisor Lisa Spince, who is white, about going to a previous Dolphins football game at what is now called Sun Life Stadium. Nearby were three black school bus drivers.

Spince reported in a written statement to the board that Murray said: "Do you remember when a group of us from transportation came down to watch a Bills game? Yeah, they had us up in nigger heaven." 

Spince, who now works for a school district in Georgia, told me that she was "shocked and offended" at what she'd heard and that the black bus drivers appeared visibly upset. She asked Murray, "What did you 


say?" 

Murray then said, "You know, way up at the top of the stadium." 

Spince told Murray that her remark was offensive and uncalled for and walked away. She then walked over to a black female bus driver who was deeply offended by Murray's comment. 

schoolbusbroward1.jpg
Broward bus drivers carry banners
​"I put my arm around her to comfort her," Spince wrote in her statement to the board. "The [driver] told me that she was very mad because that was not the first time that Ms. Murray had used the 'N' word. She told me that she was going to report Ms. Murray." 

Spince reported what had happened to two supervisors, and the upset driver, Markeia
Funchess, did indeed file a complaint with the board's Equal Educational Opportunities Department. 

Funchess remembered it a little differently, saying that Murray had referred to a football game where she had to sit in the "nigger bleed section." She said that after Spince confronted Murray, telling her that word wasn't in her vocabulary, Murray then "smirked" before explaining that she didn't know if it was raining in the seating section or they were pouring beer. Funchess reported that Murray then apologized and said, "I forgot the company that I was in."

That's basically the way bus driver Penny Smith heard it as well. 

"When she said that, Mrs. Spince told her that was not acceptable," Smith wrote in her statement on the incident. "[Murray] gave Mrs. Spince the smurk [sic] look. Mrs. Spince and one of the drivers walked so [Murray] said, "Oh!!! I forgot the company I was in.'" 

Murray admitted using the racial slur and signed off on her written reprimand.

"During the investigation, sufficient evidence existed, including your own admittance to corroborate that you did indeed use a derogatory term, 'nigger,' in the presence of subordinates," wrote then-school district Transportation Director Lucille Green. "You have failed to meet the performance standards required of your position as Terminal Supervisor... Please be advised that any further failure on your part to perform to the standards... of your job duties will result in further disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment."  

Murray worked in transportation for only another year, much of it spent running for the School Board. The incident never surfaced during her race with Rick Saltrick. 

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Parkland man
Parkland man

Hey I hear that new place rare is pretty good,it used to be bova,but when that sb lawyer scott rothstien went to jail for stealing money like all lawyers do ny prime opened it back up,and new york prime is a great place,so when Steve gonot is found guilty I will set a day and time to buy the drinks over there,and it would be nice to meet some of you people also,even lawyers!

Parkland man
Parkland man

I wonder if sue bryant is going to cover this story like she did when she was pounding Larry deetchen the ex city manager for Steve,and Larry did get fired but never charged like Steve gonot.I wonder what lawyer is going to defend this broke lowlife I wonder if he still drives that pice of shit sun beaten car,and still wears his broken glasses,I have been waiting for this for along time,and will be giving away free popcorn at his trail,he will loose,he is going to go down and the drinks will be on me.

Parkland man
Parkland man

The sao is taking Deerfield beach commissioner Steve Gonot to trail the date is set for campaign money abuse,I think it's aprill 3rd,oh and guess what he's a lawyer,and big time shit bird,here we go another fn lawyer facing jail time,he is being charged for the same thing as stacty Ritter was doing,I wonder who She will be pulling for,because if they nail this guy and I think they will Stacy is on deck.keep us up to date on this one pulp this is going to be good,a lot of lawyers could be going down fast on this one. go Sao!

WhoopettyDo
WhoopettyDo

Posted on Tue, Mar. 22, 2011School Board member apologizes for racial slur

BY CARLI TEPROFFcteproff@miamiherald.com

Broward School Board member Ann Murray apologized Tuesday for making racial slurs in the past.A day after she was asked to resign from the Broward School Board for making racial slurs, Ann Murray issued a written apology:“In 2007, I used a word I should have never used,’’ Murray wrote. “ “Minutes after saying it, I apologized to my co-workers and subordinates. Eventually, I received a very strong reprimand from my supervisor. To this day, I have the deepest regret for the incident and the pain I may have caused others. I ask the African American community and all communities who suffer with the ugliness of bigotry to accept my sincerest apology. I pray for healing and forgiveness from those I have offended as we move toward a new chapter and forever close the old.’’

http://www.miamiherald.com/201...

LEMIUX
LEMIUX

Spince, who now works for a school district in Georgia, told me that she was "shocked and offended" at what she'd heard and that the black bus drivers appeared visibly upset.

The article does not say that duh reason Ms. Spince be so upset be causin she married to one o dem1

justplaintired
justplaintired

My God how did she get on the school board in this day and age. Ok Ok Ok there are people out there who still use this word to try to inflict harm to the spirit of a people. When an adult that is in charge of the education of our children use such a word it is dispiriting. The fact is even if she thought it was a fitting description, she ought to have the common sense and restraint not to use it. In fact I have always heard the seats in th higher parts a stadium or arena referred to as the nosebleed section and that description is more than enough to convey the poor location of the seats. The use of that word was only for her tittilation and amusement, it demonstrate that she is caught up in "the good old days" and truly reflects her moral shortcomings

Ashamed
Ashamed

As an educator in Broward County I am totally disgusted and ashamed that Miriam Oliphant was given a job in our district as a Counselor. I happen to know that others were ahead of her on the que to get a Guidance job...but she has connections and that is improper and probably illegal. She was and is a laughing stock and has made this School Board, and particularly Notter, a disgrace. They have no shame. And the students will continue to suffer. And the public will continue to not care.

R. D. M.
R. D. M.

how in the world does this not come up? I think I would get fired from my job, not promoted.

Guest
Guest

The response to her rehiring has been overwhelmingly negative. Why was she moved ahead of the others? Why was she put immediately on the highest pay scale? As I've said...something's not kosher.

Judge Roy Bean
Judge Roy Bean

So now they hire her as a school board shrink. Our poor children. If she fail at this we might as well hire he to run the school board. After all this is Broward Town

Judge Roy Bean
Judge Roy Bean

Didn 't she fail her teacher certification test when she went back to teaching after being kicked out of office?

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Yup, she couldn't pass the math.

skydove
skydove

When the dimensions of Oliphant's incompetence as SoE started becoming apparent, along with her neglect of the most minimal standards of discretion in the practice of nepotism, I googled her, curious about her formal education. There was a personal page for her, sort of a cross between a resume and campaign literature. I'm positive I remember seeing a doctorate in education listed, as well as chat about what a sharp dresser she was and what a PR asset to the community. I couldn't find the page just now, but if it's still there a better researcher than me might dig it out. The current SoE website lists Oliphant and Ms. and Snipes as Dr. & Oliphant herself talks of having completed (recently?) a nondoctoral degree.

Christy
Christy

One of the most questioned of Oliphant's personnel decisions was that of hiring a homeless man, Glen Davis, whom she met at the same shelter as her sister, who is also homeless. Davis, who was given mailroom duties, failed to process over 300 absentee ballots for a 2002 primary election. His performance notwithstanding, shortly before her removal Oliphant gave Davis a $5000 raise.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...

Guest
Guest

It's so clear now...She'll give the students WONDERFUL guidance!(wink wink)

Guest
Guest

There must be something we don't know. Miriam Oliphant was removed by the then Governor Bush for incompentcy. When so many candidates for that position are available that are better and brighter, she is chosen for this high paying job by THIS School Board. Why? Is the fix in? It looks like she has the "goods" on someone in authority?

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

She was removed from the SOE position.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Oh boy, do I ever.

[Did not know if you were making reference to her school board stint, where she completed full terms.]

Guest
Guest

In my opinion, something's just not kosher there.

Guest
Guest

Hi Goldilocks... Yes she was for for incompetency and mismanagement (remember they found uncounted ballots in draws after the election) and this is the candidate to put in the higest pay bracket back into working for the county school board?

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Oh boy, do I ever.

[Did not know if you were making reference to her school board stint, where she completed full terms.]

Mzsullivan
Mzsullivan

Maybe she can hire Miriam Oliphant as her new secretary...I hope the DOE investihgators check out that "gudiance counselor" position that she now occupies..thanks Notter and Ben Williams - it just never ends.

Funisunsfl
Funisunsfl

Ben WIlliams has one agenda-to get all of his black friends and his children jobs. It does not matter if they are qualified or not. Driftwood Middle, Northeast High, ,,and on and on.

Disgusted
Disgusted

This is why she was elected.

"The School Board Mafia Backs New SoldierBy Bob Norman, Thu., Dec. 6 2007 @ 9:03AM It's almost a given you've never heard of Rick Saltrick. I never had, but found out he's an engineer with Hazen & Sawyer who lives in Hollywood. He has little political experience and is so far unproven to the public.

But he's an instant frontrunner to become a Broward County School Board member, overseeing the sixth-largest school district in the country with a budget exceeding $2 billion. He's running for the District 1 seat being vacated by Eleanor Sobel.

Why is Saltrick, who lives in Hollywood, the favorite? Because the syndicate currently running the school board -- led by lobbyists Neil Sterling and Barbara Miller -- are backing him. He is their newest annointed one. And that means cash. Big cash.

Tonight, at Sterling's posh Fort Lauderdale home, Saltrick will be showered with the green stuff during a campaign fundraiser. Donating the maximum $500 to his campaign will be Sterling's clients, including school builder Jim Pirtle and architect/consultant Bernard Zyscovich. Politically connect engineer Tom McDonald will be there, as will be land baron Austin Forman and Forman's Man Friday, Jim Kane. Ethically suspect lobbyist Russ Klenet will be sauntering about at tonight's political indoctrination as well.

All Saltrick will be expected to do in return for all that money and attention is surrender his soul to the Sterling-Miller Mafia. He will be expected to vote for their clients without fail, just as other Sterling-Miller board members do (Bev Gallagher, Robin Bartleman, and Jennifer Gottleib cheif among them). When Sterling or his clients get caught doing something wrong, he'll be expected to ignore it.

We may still not know who Rick Saltrick is, but it's all too clear by the high-rolling company he's now keeping who he will be."

One more!
One more!

Don't forget Maureen. That is Neil and Barbara's girl!

Guest
Guest

That was then. This is now. Pulp's words still hold true. However with Murray(before this revelation) we had a least a candidate we thought coud be trusted to be intelligent. She's a disappointment and should resign.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

At the time ....

1. Carole Andrews, who help the seat for the district, had just passed away from cancer.

2. Eleanor Sobel took the seat and proved to be a major disappointment. Cases in point: view the YouTube video of her selling out Hollywood public land (park) for the Montessori School that is now the object of contention; also, she promised to keep the seat, the position, "I can do much more on a local level than I ever could do in Tallahassee" ... the moment the opportunity arose to run for State Senate - she was outta here. Then she used the 527 orgs to pump money into trashing her opponents.

3. Miller backed Saltrick. Murray was viewed as the independent reformer candidate and the anti-Miller-mafia person to embrace (by we local-uns in the district).

4. Moral of the story: suppose we would have been scr*wed either way.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Time and time I ask myself- does the political machine down here in Broward attract the corrupt, or do good meaning, honest folks just get caugjhht up in the web of corruption? Are the "honorability" thresholds just abysmally low here- and if so, why? Low education levels in South Florida? An influx of residents of banana republics who are used to this behavior?Laziness?

Windsome Lass
Windsome Lass

Goldilocks memory and analysis are right on. There is something fundamentally and structurally amiss in Broward. The rule of economy of scales just does not work here. I cannot imagine any honest and competent authority re-hiring Oliphant.

skydove
skydove

I'm not in Murray's district and until very recently paid no attention to the election of school board members, so I'm not about to criticize people who voted for the woman. The rationale that anyone would be better than the Miller/Sterling candidate could be justified even by those who'd met Murray and had doubts about her qualifications.

In retrospect, however, it looks as though someone on Broward's all-star team of talent spotters may have recognized in Murray a profoundly stupid person who'd do as she was told without asking questions. Too clueless to aspire to doggie bags, never mind more lucrative opportunities for graft, she'd be no competition at all for the experienced greedheads already in office.

If anyone has the institutional memory to trace back who exactly started pushing Murray for the office, it might be possible to connect some dots.

Guest
Guest

I'll say it again...In my opinion with Murray's mentality she's an easy mark for corruption!

reality check
reality check

To show their non favoritism and neutrality....the School Board, at a salary of 72,000.00 per year hired MIRIAM OLIPHANT...anyone see anything wrong with that picture? How to make yourselves look really good!

Ind_Thinker
Ind_Thinker

From the Sentinel article:

More than a year after she flunked her teacher certification and lost her job at a Fort Lauderdale school, former Supervisor of Elections Miriam Oliphant is back on the Broward Schools payroll as a guidance counselor, this time at the Dave Thomas Education Center in Coconut Creek. . . . Oliphant's new job, which started on Jan. 31, pays $75,200-a-year and returns her to the top of the pay scale for teachers. . . . "I'm certified, I passed the exams, I've got a master's degree and 23 years experience and I'm qualified, and that's all I have to say about it," Oliphant said in a brief telephone conversation Friday.

Where is the teacher's union on this one? We constantly hear about underpaid teachers and this woman is now making $75,200 per year, with benefits, for working nine months a year. I wonder if she's also eligible for overtime? The public gravy train never stops.

"I've got a master's degree" - great demonstration of your proficiency with the English language. I guess the masters degree offsets the the flunked certification and inability to use proper grammar. No big deal; it's not like she's going to be in a position where that can rub off on our children. Oh wait, she is?

Guest
Guest

Unbelievable! She proved herself to be incompetent and not too bright. When there are so any more quailified why her?

Guest
Guest

Good Morning All!It makes no difference if Murray swears up and down that she's not a racist (and mostly a bigot). Next we'll hear that some of her best friends are black. She's an Dump ignorant idiot(hasn't she proven that?) There should be no place on our school board for her and the responsibility the position holds. With her mentality, in my opinion, she's an easy mark for corruption. Resign now.....

TK421
TK421

What is it about Bostonites and racism? Until recently, I worked with some dude from Boston who was about as racist as they come. This sounds exactly like some of the gems he would spew.

Jack Carlo
Jack Carlo

How about "double chinned fat slob"........

Fly on the Wall
Fly on the Wall

Pulp,

Has anyone asked the question of the status of the investigation into the Transportation department that has been on-going for more than 2 years by SIU (Special Investigative Unit). It is my understanding the 2 individuals under investigation are still collecting their high salaries and no one has bid them farewell even though one hired all of her relatives and her relatives friends. What's up? Thought hiring your relatives and then supervising them was against School Board policy.

Don Jimmy
Don Jimmy

Lucille Greene still sits in the Purchasing Department with no duties of any kind.

callajewaspade
callajewaspade

How does a brooklyn cracker with a name like murray get elected to the school board in jew central broward???

LittleRascalsPubicist
LittleRascalsPubicist

Buckwheat's comment after reading Unowho's comment. "Miss Murray'll be dere in heaven wiff me. "

unowho
unowho

Old hag Murray needs to look in the mirror ,perhaps she is jealous of how black women dont show there age.When her days are done she wont have to worry about ni__er heaven shes goin straight to helll !!!....Have a wonderfull evening Birthday Girl "Glitz"

LittleRascalsPubicist
LittleRascalsPubicist

A statement from Buckwheat after reading about Ann Murray's faux pas."It's Otay! I wub her."

Christy
Christy

Happy Birthday Glitters.

Guest
Guest

Thanks Christy! So nice to hear the well wishes fom my Pulp friends!

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

Happy B-Day Glitter Girl... I'm actuall headed to Aruba's in a few.

I don't know what to think of Murray and her racist rant. I'm not exactly sure what "nigger heaven" is supposed to be but the referense made no sense. What is "cracker heaven" "spic heaven" "kike heaven"? referring back to my hero George Karlin RIP... It is not the language or the words used its the racist asshole behind the words we have to be concerned with.

I would like to know what her actions were towards other ethnicities to determine if she is a racist. Agreeing with Dr A. we do know even if she's not a racist... she sure is an IDIOT!

Bubba
Bubba

DId you mean George Carlin??

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Headed to Aruba's DF3? In that case, you should have one for me, Goldilocks and Glitters!

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

It's been a long week and I have a designated driver... It is highly likely I'll have at least one for all 3 of you

Guest
Guest

Thanks DF3Whatever you do ENJOY!

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