Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handpicked candidate to lead Chicago’s school system faces two lawsuits dating from his three-year tenure as the head of Rochester, N.Y., schools.
One suit, filed by the EEOC, says Jean-Claude Brizard was biased against older workers, allegedly firing one 58-year-old deputy superintendent because of her age. He also allegedly told a group of teachers, “You all are old.”
The EEOC investigated and found probable cause that the teacher had been fired because of her age, race and sex.
Another lawsuit accuses Brizard of “punitive and insensitive” practices against teachers and administrators facing discipline or termination. He allegedly assigned them to meaningless work for months at a time before firing them. That led the Rochester Teachers Association to file class-action grievances against Brizard, and members of the union issued a resounding vote of no-confidence in him before he accepted the appointment to head Chicago schools.
The Chicago Teachers Union has called the pending lawsuits against Brizard “concerning.”