CPS CEO pick threatened with lawsuit for leaving

Jean Claude-Brizard is shown with Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel.

June 16, 2011 1:06:10 PM PDT
There's little doubt Rahm Emanuel's choice to lead the Chicago Public Schools is leaving some burnt bridges in his wake.

"I think we should sue his a--," Rochester, N.Y., school board member Cynthia Elliott told ABC affiliate WHAM-TV.

Another school board member suggested Jean-Claude Brizard should be forced to pay the estimated $100,000 cost of the search for his replacement. The bad feelings come after Brizard announced he was breaking his recently signed multi-year contract with the 32,000-student Rochester schools to accept an offer from Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel to run the 410,000-student Chicago school system.

Brizard's contract with Rochester calls for any early separation to be mutually agreed upon. The Rochester school board president said he was informed of Brizard's decision to leave via text message followed later in the day by a formal resignation letter and press conference in Chicago.

"He has to buy us out," Rochester school board member Van White said. "It can be fairly argued that by sending us that letter, he breached the terms of our agreement."

Emanuel refused to allow Brizard to answer reporters' questions about his contact status or other issues Monday.

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