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Should Brizard Pay Rochester to Replace Him?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jean-Claude Brizard, who retired as Rochester New York's school superintendent after three years, will take over for interim chief Terry Mazany, Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel announced Monday. (Published Monday, Apr 18, 2011)

    A Rochester, N.Y., school board member wants Chicago's newly hired CPS chief to pay for his former district's superintendent search.

    Rochester School Board member Van White told the Chicago Sun-Times it's not fair for Jean-Claude Brizard to leave taxpayers with an estimated $100,000 bill to search for his replacement after he walked out on a three-year contract with the district.

    Rahm Announces Brizard as Schools Chief

    [CHI] Rahm Announces Brizard as Schools Chief
    Jean-Claude Brizard, who retired as Rochester New York's school superintendent after three years, will take over for interim chief Terry Mazany, Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel announced Monday. (Published Monday, Apr 18, 2011)

    Brizard signed the contract, worth $235,000 a year, in November. On Monday, Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel introduced him as his choice for Chicago's new schools CEO.

    White told the paper he wants Brizard to stay but thinks the way the former superintendent resigned -- with a letter to board members -- violated his contract. A contract clause states, “the board and superintendent may agree to terminate this agreement based on mutually agreeable terms and conditions.’’

    Brizard Accepts Schools Chief Job

    [CHI] Brizard Accepts Schools Chief Job
    Jean-Claude Brizard, who retired as Rochester New York's school superintendent after three years, takes over for interim chief Terry Mazany. (Published Monday, Apr 18, 2011)

    The Rochester school board hired an attorney to see if the contract breach is compensable, White said.

    On Wednesday, Brizard offered no apologies for leaving. He called himself a reformer and said he loves Rochester but looks forward to calling Chicago home.

    Emanuel came to his new chief's defense during a separate news conference.

    "I chose someone to shake up the status quo, because the status quo is not working," he said.

    At least one other Rochester board member has called for the district to sue Brizard.

    But White wants what his district deserves -- the cost of finding a new superintendent. It cost the district about $100,000 for the last superintendent.

    CPS general counsel Patrick Rocks told the Sun-Times he's not familiar with Brizard’s Rochester contract but argued Chicago could not be forced to pay any penalties.