Is School Board Member Ann Murray Targeting Whistleblower for Firing?

Broward School Board member Ann Murray claims she is trying to tighten the district's purse strings by laying off building inspectors. 

Building inspector Michael Marchetti -- a whistleblower who exposed massive corruption by Murray's board -- told Murray during a meeting last week that she's on a "personal vendetta" to fire him. 

marchetti1.jpg
Marchetti
​Murray didn't answer Marchetti's charge, but I'm sure he's right. 

A recent School Board reorganization proposed terminating four of the 20 School Board building inspectors. Because of Marchetti's seniority in the district, he was not of the four inspectors who would lose their jobs. Shortly after that became apparent, Murray sent an email to School Board support operations director Jeffrey Moquin in which she specifically questioned "the need for 16 [building inspectors] when building in the District is at a minimum." 

Marchetti said he was made aware of Murray's headhunting communique that very day. The following day, at a School Board workshop, Marchetti addressed the board -- and aimed his remarks at Murray personally, accusing her of targeting him for termination because he has been a leading board critic. 

He also said that Murray's campaign manager had in the past made threats to have him fired and arrested. 

"It's obvious to me that once it was determined that losing four inspectors was not going to affect my job, she quickly sent a note to 
say there needed to be more cuts," Marchetti told me. "Right now, we're not doing thousands of state-mandated maintenance inspections as it is, and [School Board Building Chief Tom] Lindner has said publicly we are doing $385 million worth of construction. So what else could it be?"

I left a voice message with Murray this morning and will update if she provides comment. Don't expect much -- she has ignored my calls since I broke stories about her appointment of a federal fraud felon, George Bograkos, to the board's District Advisory Council and her use of a racial slur

Interestingly Bograkos -- who also serves as Murray's campaign manager and all-around right-hand man -- figures into the drama that is playing out between his boss and Marchetti. 

Remember that Marchetti was erroneously accused of being the Facebook-based School Board critic known as Broward Cleansweep last year. An unnamed board-connected political consultant believed that Cleansweep was Marchetti and, using the name "Broward Conscience," basically threatened to have him fired and arrested if he didn't shut down his Facebook account immediately. 

It was an ugly incident that was described in the scathing grand jury report on corruption at the School Board as an "extortionate attempt" to stifle free speech. The unnamed consultant also happened to be dead wrong -- Marchetti wasn't Cleansweep.

But Marchetti says he knows who the extortion artist was. 

"I know from reliable sources close to the grand jury investigation that it was George Bograkos," Marchetti told me.

I asked Bograkos several weeks ago if he was "Broward Conscience." He was all over the map and ultimately admitted that authorities had interviewed him about the matter and that he "didn't deny it to anyone with credentials." 

It's clear that Bograkos was involved in targeting Marchetti -- and now his boss is doing the same. On top of this, Marchetti most recently has been criticizing a $6 million administration building project that he says is unnecessary. The contractor on the job: Royal Concrete Concepts, a company that helped bankroll Murray's political campaign.  

You would think with the "Broward Conscience" cloud hanging over her political camp, Murray would avoid the appearance of revenge and not specifically target building inspectors for termination -- especially since there are other much more significant areas of School Board waste that could be slashed, including bloated top administrative salaries. 

But Murray has been obstinate ever since the grand jury report was released. She criticized the report on the television news before admitting that she hadn't actually read it. Then Murray announced that she'd determined that the real corruption wasn't with the board but district staff. She arrived at this conclusion despite the fact that the grand jury, after a lengthy investigation, found the exact opposite to be true. It pinpointed the board as corrupt and inept while crediting staff members with having exposed their misdeeds.

Murray seems only to again be proving the grand jury true. 

-- Just so you understand the quality of intellect we're dealing with in Murray, read the following email she wrote in 2009. 

Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 9:32 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Broward School Board Digs Itself Deeper Hole

Thanks Pete, but unfortunately once your on the Board you inherit everything, past and  present. the good and the bad...

The issue with Mr. Notter,,, he also inherited alot of mismanagement of finances from Dr. Till who was the sitting superintendent when all this spending was happening.  Since Notter became superintendent he has gotten a handle on the wild spending, but again. unfortunately the perfect storm had already hit the system.......Yes we are deep in debt and it will be a good five years before we see any relieve if even then with the present economy in this country........

The issue between the BTU and Notter is just the dramatics of union negotiations, actually Pat Santermaro and Mr. Notter have been friendly for several years, and continue to be friends in spite of the newspaper articles you read.

Again thanks, but I did run knowing exactly the situation inside the District........

Question: How does someone who doesn't understand basic grammar and can't seem to form a coherent sentence get elected to the sixth-largest school district in America?

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44 comments
Pissed Off
Pissed Off

So right Sofedup - unfortunately the Grand Jury ruling is a double-edged sword. It might make the old Board members think before doing any more dirty work but it also ties the hands of the new Board members (note Notter's last comments to the Board at the recent Workshop).

Sofedup
Sofedup

It's Kabuki Theater. The district does it expertly. And what do you expect from a SA that's tight with the corrupt lobbyists? The Feds need to stay serious. The state investigation's too vulnerable to political influence from the same corrupt lobbyists.

skooled
skooled

Teachers should sue Notter and Santeramo based on a sitting school board members quote about it all being a farce!!!!!!

Pissed Off
Pissed Off

Are you kidding? Mike Marchetti was the one person who proposed and implemented a very low cost Planning & Scheduling project within this District. When management realized the scope of his ability to see their waste and abuse they conveniently made him go away and replaced his low cost project with a MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR ($70,000,000.00 +) SAP software that will continue to cost the District many years into the future. Although this new software has great value to the District, Mike did the same thing for the District without the additional cost to taxpayers. Before you cast stones get some facts asshole. I'm ashamed to say you represent me because in reality you don't!

BTUPresident
BTUPresident

Hey Pulp:

Did you look to see whether or not Marchetti did anything that added value to the district? If you investigate him and his work performance, I am sure you will find bad smell in his shit too. Marchetti is not an Angel as you are trying to potray him. I accept the fact that the School Board is corrupt but there must be a big reason why he is doing all these. It is your job to find that out. You should be fair and balance as a journalist.

Pissed off!
Pissed off!

You are right on with your comments on this subject. Mike Marchetti has been a target from day one when he began exposing the irregularities, inequities, and waste within this system. As a former employee of Mr. Marchetti I also have been harassed, threatened, and now have lost my position within the District after almost 30 years. The SBBCs Board is just attempting to cover it's tracks by getting rid of anyone who has been witness to their corruption over the years. He is also right that we don't need to build this 4th maintenance site. Stopping this construction will save the SBBC $6,000,000.00 yes MILLION!! dollars. Do you know how many jobs can be saved???? I believe that it's time for the State of Florida to step in and review what Administration is doing before this goes any further and before any more jobs are lost! FDLE needs to camp out and clean up this District.

Fly on the Wall
Fly on the Wall

Royal Concrete Concepts is a firm off Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach that received large contracts to build one and two story concrete modular buildings that were formed and poured in the field at their fabrication site. Building Department inspectors did inspections there but were removed when they cited too many code violations. Royal Concrete Concepts constructors were untrained laborers with little to no code knowledge. Another issue was they originally were constructing to West Palm Beach wind load code requirements of 110 mph.

Charlene Rebecca Blackwood
Charlene Rebecca Blackwood

It is my understanding Murray made a comment in the School Board Meeting or Workshop that she calculated it took an inspector 2 hours to perform an inspection. As Donnie Carter or Jeffrey Moquin, the supervisors of the Building Department, know little to nothing about inspections, no one defended the Building Department. For instance, no one told Murray, the time she calculated included time to and from the inspection, review of the approved, permitted set of construction documents at the jobsite and the scope of the inspection, citing a failed inspection, etc. or just writing out the inspection results. The Building Department has never been allowed to meet with the Board or do a presentation to the Board to give them information as to the complexity of their job. A contractor does not call an inspector to do a minor installation of construction, it would be too time consuming. Rather, a construction activity of a large section of a building is usually completed before the inspection is scheduled. It is amazing to me that this department has 6 secretaries for 32 inspectors when it was run with 3 secretaries with 32 inspectors in 2000. No one has made any effort to return the job description for an inspector to a State of Florida certified inspector, not a provisional one, as presently exists. The present job description, changed in 2004, is for a provisional inspector only has to have 5 years construction experience, no State test for 3-5 years, no experience as an inspector. Several of the inspectors presently in the Department who were transferred from District Maintenance could not produce any certifications from previous construction employers and were certified by the Acting Building Official as having the construction experience. They had 3-5 years to take and pass the State of Florida inspector licensing exam but were put to work immediately. In the grand jury response to the Florida Department of Education, it stated the provisional inspectors were performing inspections under the direct supervision of the Building Official. This was not so, nor was it so when the District Maintenance personnel were hired as provisional inspectors previously. The purpose of "dumbing" down inspectors is to insure contractors have inspectors with less knowledge and experience and who do not recognize code violations or specification substitutes. The interesting thing about all of this is that with the change in the job description, those "provisional inspectors" who were "in-training" were receiving the same salary considerations as the certified inspectors. In this last "bumping" created by the BTU/TSP union, several certified (passed the State of Florida inspector licensing exam) were transferred to the Safety Department, the Design department and other departments to be replaced by little to no inspection experienced individuals. The Building Department should not have been included in the "bumping" unless an individual being transferred had a certified license. Since the inspector is the only individual having day-to-day knowledge of the contractor's progress and the quality of the work, why would the District reduce its qualifications for the only representatives they have in the field? The inspectors are also not included in the evaluations of the contractors, i. e., as to the number of failed inspections, number of delays in correcting inspections and other inspection statistical information that could be used to determine the qualifications of the personnel provided by the Contractor. District Upper administrators canceled the LYNX photo licenses used for court defense in construction lawsuits. Now there is no photo documentation to verify the cited existing failed condition. The Building Department should stay but it needs enforcing ability (supposedly granted by the state), accountability, leadership that has experience and is not covering up for the sake of their job and an expectation of higher quality and control to decrease maintenance and increase the health, safety and welfare of its occupants.

Steve-O
Steve-O

Pretty diabolical for some bumpkin school bus driver

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

This shit amazes me. The media celebrates a "genius" (who couldn't get a job with the school board based on his back ground) who espouses how he is acting out of great jeopardy to himself.

Marchetti was threatened with personal and professional harm. For doing his job and calling out the corrupt pols.

Isnt this type of behavior exactly what the grand jury called out. The board members interjecting into the day to day operations of the district. Seems to me that staffing should be done by district personnel with the board giving an up or down vote to the super.

"Get off me you big fat pig!"
"Get off me you big fat pig!"

How about having Ms. Murray and City of Pembroke Pines Commissioner Iris Siple enter the Florida edition of "Dumb-Fuck Jeopardy"......todays subject: "Fat, dumb crakers and responsible Government....who knew?"

burninshore
burninshore

@unowho - I was so hoping that you had been cured of your "FIRST!isms and subsequent numbers that follow. Could you please just post something of some substance? If this was a simple email account I could choose not to read your drivel and just delete it. As for the article, it does not surprise me who and how gets elected. It's been business as usual here since I can remember. Hopefully with all spotlights been shone on them and others, it will make them at least try harder to keep their dirt hidden.

anonmymous
anonmymous

Holy Crap! This woman has got to go.

Stockmaster68
Stockmaster68

Electing a bus driver to the school board with below HS education.what do you expect?She is old and bitter. watch out. ever seen those mean old ladies who hates everyone who questioned them.well you have. Murray will not be running again and she doesn't care.she depends on that $1000 she gets

unowho
unowho

Whistle Blowers should be rewarded not punished and admitted racists should not even be allowed as a volunteer crosswalk monitor!!!

unowho
unowho

Murray would be the first loser out if this was "Survivor"

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Answer: It is not a requirement to be educated, possess educational and other credentials worthy of a position to be in that position. One does not need a formal education to conduct education policy as a school board member.

If you think that is pathetic, sometime, when you have nothing to do, read the backgrounds of some of your state legislators.

The sorry state of a sorry state.

Don Jimmy
Don Jimmy

The horribly botched SAP project has cost the District $100 million and counting. It was poorly implemented and remains incomplete due to the very expense mentioned. The partial implementation has taken 11+ years, beginning January 1, 2000. Use of SAP has been found to be a disaster by those staff members within the District who have to work with it every day. Mr. Marchetti was not a part of the project choice or implementation.

BTUisCorrupt
BTUisCorrupt

BTU President: Are you serious? Really? The BTU "leadership" is the most corrupt, despicable group of know-nothing cronies ever. Last year, they sold their members down the river by refusing to bargain in good faith in order to save the jobs of its members. Thanks to incompetence, BTU deliberately broke State labor laws and damn near every collective bargaining point in their "Contract."This year, if layoffs are on the table, look for BTU "leaders" to grab the KY and bend over. Mr. Marchetti, you are my hero and I don't even know you. I wish you had a real union behind you. If you did, fat old hag Murray and the rest of the Board would not even think about harassing you. I am sorry you have such a piss-poor union that can't even represent you properly.

Anyone who calls themselves "BtU President" whether they are "Santeramo" or are not, should really STFU about adding value to the District.

Mike Marchetti
Mike Marchetti

BTU President,

I wish someone would come and investigate my activities, I have done all that I can to challenge management to do so. My question to you is why do you think they haven't? If you have a particular area or incident you are concerned about please share it with all of us so that it can be properly addressed openly and in public. I would suggest to you that many on the outside have already done their research and have the facts. I would also suggest to you that when some bring up or question what I have done they now expose their intentions to maintain the status quo. Of course that is my opinion and you are welcome to have your own. I have always produced facts and documents to back up my allegations it would help those you claim to be concerned about to bring facts and documents as well.

SuchCrap
SuchCrap

Why does SBBC need a 4th Zone when SBBC only has 3 areas?

burninshore
burninshore

Stopping this site from being built will save 6 million? And to think that the Board still wants us to take furloughs (1-4 days each) so we can save 2-4 million.

Curious
Curious

Did the plans for these modulars go through SBBC Plan Review?

SuchCrap
SuchCrap

What amazes me is that Ron Morgan still has a job.

anonymous
anonymous

As you do, PM. At least you were concise.

fyi
fyi

FL Statute 112.3187 Adverse action against employee for disclosing information of specified nature prohibited; employee remedy and relief.—(1) SHORT TITLE.—Sections 112.3187-112.31895 may be cited as the “Whistle-blower’s Act.”(2) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—It is the intent of the Legislature to prevent agencies or independent contractors from taking retaliatory action against an employee who reports to an appropriate agency violations of law on the part of a public employer or independent contractor that create a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare. It is further the intent of the Legislature to prevent agencies or independent contractors from taking retaliatory action against any person who discloses information to an appropriate agency alleging improper use of governmental office, gross waste of funds, or any other abuse or gross neglect of duty on the part of an agency, public officer, or employee.

unowho
unowho

Yes thank God for highly intellectual ,successfull and determined individuals like Governor Rick Scott!!! :)

SuchCrap
SuchCrap

The waste IS still there and will be as long as Don Jimmy is in power. As long as there is massive waste, few will accept pay cuts or furloughs.

burninshore
burninshore

Thank you for pointing out how correct I was.

unowho
unowho

FYI Yes thanks I am aware ,what im referring to is the bitch Murrays vengefull tactics which hopefully will backfire on her arrogant ignorant and racist fat ass!!!

Guest
Guest

Get real....Crook Scott!

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Unowho, I know your heart is in the right place. It is this type of critical thinking - or lack thereof - that means more short term actions based upon intuitive, knee-jerk systems of beliefs, without understanding or synthesis of anything remotely resembling reality, and therefore no longer term planning, lack of strategy, ignorance of cause-and-effect.

You possess the qualities and clearly lack any significant credentials, experience or understanding. You might consider a run for office. Clearly, you are Florida-qualified.

unowho
unowho

"25th" Bienvenue !!!

beep beep
beep beep

You forgot something: arrogant ignorant racist fat ass with a pock-marked, pimply prune face.

fyi
fyi

Agreed, and who will pay the settlement to Mr. Marchetti due to the Skool Boreds non-stop ineptitude?

What's that you say? You and I? Noooo way.

PlayItAgainSam
PlayItAgainSam

Did anyone watch the live cast of the FL Health & Human Resources Committee hear and vote on Bill 1579-"The Abortion Bill"?

This bill brought forward by a young, female Representative with the requisite "southern drawl" is going to close these services in the State of FL by mandating as of Oct. 2011 all businesses providing this service be "solely owned" by a licensed physician.

The only legitimate discussion was proferred by a Representative from Palm Beach, a Representative from Hollywood and the Chair of the FL ACLU.

Sadly, once again, FL legislators legislate from the pulpit, not from the dais, and certainly not from the rulings in place by the highest court of the land.

Get ready for it, they are going to ram this one through once again.

unowho
unowho

No I have strict morals and integrity and although persons involved in my homicide case have tried to bribe me with large $um$ of money I CANNOT be bought ,therefore I do not qualify... Goldilocks have you been sippin Baby Bears koolaid again??? (You must have slept inn.1st2nd3rd);)

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