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A downfall for one-time reformer Stephanie Kraft

Stephanie Kraft swept into her Broward School Board seat 12 years ago as a reformer promising a shakeup and a mom looking for a say in the public school system educating her young daughter.

On the eve of her retirement next month Kraft, 54, was busy shaping how she would be viewed in the future, setting up a group with the Broward Education Foundation to fund arts programs.

"When you leave a place that you've been at and you've poured your heart and soul in for 12 years, you want to leave a legacy,'' Kraft said at the Sept. 21 School Board meeting, where she talked about accomplishments she would mention "in my official goodbye speech.''

She will not get that chance.

Kraft -- along with her husband, attorney Mitch Kraft -- now faces a string of public corruption charges. She was removed from office Monday by Gov. Charlie Crist.

It was a swift fall from Kraft's once-influential position on the board, cemented in a successful crusade to oust a former schools superintendent. She is also credited with getting a Broward high school band -- the only one from South Florida -- to play at the presidential inauguration last year, and she made a name for herself questioning how business was done at the board. More here.

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