CITY HALL — A top mayoral challenger is calling on a Board of Education member to resign after firms she invested in increased their business with Chicago Public Schools.
"We place people on boards, and they profit for their own selves," said Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) in a news conference Monday at City Hall. "We need the resignation of the school-board member who has profited from contracts that CPS has given."
Fioretti, who is running against Mayor Rahm Emanuel in February's municipal election, cited an investigation published in the Sun-Times by education reporter Lauren FitzPatrick alleging that firms board member Deborah Quazzo invests in have tripled their CPS contracts since she was appointed to the Board of Education by Emanuel last year to replace Penny Pritzker.
Fioretti accused Quazzo of "double dipping," saying that a person should either lobby the government, accept a government post or seek government contracts, but not two of those or even all three.
"Decide which way you want," Fioretti said. "This is ridiculous that people profit from insider deals over and over again, in this administration and prior administrations.
"She has to resign," Fioretti said.
But board President David Vitale said Quazzo has abided by the board's "strict ethical policy prohibiting working or voting on any matter in which they have a personal interest."
"At no point during her tenure with the Board of Education has Deborah Quazzo worked on any matter in which she has a personal financial interest, and she has always recused herself from votes related to matters in which she has a personal conflict," he said.
Emanuel spokeswoman Kelley Quinn also defended Quazzo.
"She has brought a unique perspective that has helped put our students on the path to a bright future that includes record-high ACT scores, record participation in Advanced Placement courses and record-high graduation rates," Quinn said.
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