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BRIZARDWATCH: Can Chicago legally hire a man who violated anti-discrimination laws in Rochester New York?

Can the Chicago Board of Education Legally Hire Jean Claude Brizard? Even though mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel has already announced that he will retain Chicago Board of Education attorney Patrick Rocks and as a result it's likely that the Board of Education's lawyers will say it's OK for the mayor and the Board to do anything it wants, this might prove costly for Chicago. Since he became CPS attorney seven years ago, Rocks has always spun the law on behalf of every twist and turn of Chicago Board of Education policy despite any semblance of legal ethics. Example? CPS has lost two federal constitutional rights cases in the past 13 months, the first when Deborah Lynch and others sued the Board after former CEO Ron Huberman tried to ban election meetings in the schools during the CTU election campaign; the second when CPS tried to ignore teacher tenure in the firing of more than 1,300 tenured teachers in June, July, and August 2010. Despite the clarity of federal law, under the Chicago Board of Education and Rocks, CPS continued to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to its own and outside lawyers to defend its illegal — and, as the courts held, unconstitutional — actions. Despite what CPS's lawyers may say, there may actually be things in Chicago Board of Education policies and Illinois law that preclude hiring someone who has violated federal law as grossly as Rahm Emanuel's pick to be the next Chief Executive Officer of Chicago's public schools.

[Substance editor's note: As this story was being edited for publication here, Channel 7 Chicago reported, in a lengthy story, additional facts regarding this case, and added that Rahm Emanuel's office is still sticking with Brizard, claiming that it thoroughly "vetted" him before Emanuel announced the Brizard appointment on April 18. The URL for the Channel 7 story, for those who can't access if through the hotlink above, is: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=8087382]

Chicago mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel (above right, at a press conference on April 18 at Chicago's Kelly High School) ignored the fact that Rochester New York Schools Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard (above left) has been found to have discriminated on the basis of age in an EEOC complaint filed by a former Rochester administrator and that he is facing a civil lawsuit charging that he discriminated against African American women administrators. Specifically, Brizard has already been found (by the EEOC) to have violated the federal age discrimination laws. And Brizard (and the Rochester school district) are also facing a civil lawsuit (see below) charging Brizard with age, sex, and race discrimination. Although Rahm Emanuel may have been influenced by Brizard's ethnicity in his selection, the federal government is looking into whether Brizard has discriminated against African American women, and the civil suit charges that his actions have been both sexist and racist.

A preliminary investigation of Chicago's mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's announcement to appoint Jean-Claude Brizard to be the next Chief Executive Officer of Chicago's public schools shows the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC Charge No. 525-2010-00266, Buffalo Local Office on June 29, 2010) found Mr. Brizard to have discriminated against one of his employees in his position as Superintendent of Schools for the Rochester City School District.

The EEOC has seen Brizard's actions as a clear case of age discrimination, and Brizard's own words should give Chicago a pause when considering whether Mr. Emanuel's judgement regarding who is best to run the nation's third largest school system. According to the evidence in the federal case, Brizard referred to veteran educators as "RIPs" (i.e., "Retired in Place") and routinely proclaimed that he wanted to replace veterans with younger people (who, presumably, would do his bidding more readily). The EEOC findings are part of an open federal discrimination lawsuit (Case 6:10-CV-06384-MAT) in the Western District of New York, against Mr. Brizard. The plaintiff in the federal civil lawsuit is Marilyn Patterson-Grant, an African American and 57 years old. She started working in the Rochester district in 1975 as a teacher and rose through the ranks to become Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, the district’s top administrator in charge of instruction. According to the court record, she was terminated on January 26, 2010 by Brizard. Subsequently, Ms. Patterson-Grant filed charges against the District and Mr. Brizard with the EEOC, the Federal agency responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

After the EEOC conducted an investigation, it found that there was direct evidence that the person [Mr. Brizard] who made the decision to discharge "Charging Party" had a bias based on age — and had a bias regarding African American women. The EEOC stated that "Respondent" (Brizard) did not provide a business necessity reason for discharging "Charging Party" (Ms. Patterson-Grant) and it did not provide a credible non-discriminatory reason for discharging Charging Party. "Based on this analysis…" the EEOC states, "the evidence obtained during the investigation establishes violations of the statutes as follows: Respondent discharged Charging Party because of her sex, her race and her age. (p. 1, EEOC Charge No. 525-2010-00266)."

The EEOC finding is available on line. One thing worth noting is that Brizard had also apparently violated his own rules and the rules of the Rochester public schools. Can the Chicago Board of Education legally hire someone who has flaunted federal law so much?

The [Chicago] Board of Education has clear policies regarding Discrimination: Chapter I, Organization of the Board of Education Sec. 1-9 states: "It is the policy of the Board to prohibit unlawful discrimination on the basis of any classifications protected by the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Illinois and applicable federal, state or local laws or ordinances, including but not limited to discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity/expression, age, religion, disability, national origin or sexual orientation. (p. 2, Board Rules)

The Board also has rules regarding employment in Chapter Iv Personnel Rules, Sec. 4-4. "Employment Requirements, k. Compliance with Laws and Board Policies and Rules Prohibiting Discrimination. All employees must comply with laws and Board policies and rules prohibiting discrimination, including laws and policies prohibiting sexual harassment. (p. 24, Board Rules)

In a system that has an Inspector General that in FY10 was allocated $1.9 million and staffed with 17 full-time employees that spent a third of its time investigating internet usage and where people live (p. 1, OIG Report FY10) the question now is, will the OIG investigate Mr. Brizard before he arrived in Chicago so the OIG can issue a report to the Board of Education before he is hired regarding compliance with Board Rules in regards to hiring requirements of person under investigation and in court for violating federal law?

References

Discrimination Found Against Former RCSD Official in Rare EEOC Case, Barnhart, R.(2010, July 7) (Reporter) 13WHAM News, ABC News, Rochester, NY. http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/Discrimination-Found-Against-Former-RCSD-Official/bRL8CL9kU0OSPjLI6kUEbg.cspx

Patterson-Grant vs. Brizard Case 10-CV-06384, US Western District of New York.

http://www.scribd.com/full/53501385?access_key=key-fbncf6mt15cuu1pgro2

Office of the Inspector General, Chicago Board of Education, Annual Report July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010, Prepared pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/34-13.1(e) http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Departments/Documents/OIG_FY_2010AnnualReport.pdf

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Marilynn Grant vs. Rochester City School District, Charge No. 525-2010-00266, June 29, 2010.

http://www.scribd.com/full/53500063?access_key=key-jkd3e48j4dctftpidj3

Below is the full complaint in federal court against Jean-Claude Brizard regarding his termination of an administrator.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK MARILYNN PATTERSON GRANT, Plaintiffs, v. ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT &

SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS,

JEAN-CLAUDE BRIZARD,

Defendants. COMPLAINT JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

Civil Action No. : No.: 10-cv-6384

INTRODUCTION

1. This is an action brought pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 621; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.; 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 42 U.S.C. §1983, and the New York State Human Rights Law, Executive Law Section 290 et seq., alleging that Plaintiff was intentionally, unlawfully and/or willfully discriminated against because of her race, gender, and age, and for retaliation for engaging in protected activity.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE 2. Jurisdiction of this Court is invoked pursuant to 28 U.S.C §§ 1331 and 1343, 29 U.S.C. § 1331; the Court also has supplemental jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367 to adjudicate Plaintiff’s claims under state law.

3. Venue is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1391.

4. Plaintiff filed two charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”); the first on January 25, 2010, Charge Number 525-2010-00266, alleging discrimination on the basis of sex, race, and age; the second on April 4, 2010, Charge Number 525-2010-00463, alleging retaliation for having filed Charge Number 525-2010-00266. 5. On June 29 , 2010, the EEOC determined PROBABLE CAUSE that the evidence obtained during the EEOC investigation establishes violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), and the Age Discrimination Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”), in that the defendant discharged the Plaintiff because of her sex, race, and her age. A copy of the EEOC’s PROBABLE CAUSE determination is annexed hereto as EXHIBIT A.

6. On October 26, 2010, the EEOC issued a Notice of Right to add her retaliation claims under the ADEA and Title VII pursuant to Charge Number 525-2010 00463. A copy of the EEOC’s Notice of Right to Sue is annexed hereto as EXHIBIT B. On November 8, 2010, the EEOC issued a Notice of Right to Sue with regard to Plaintiff’s Title VII claims under Charge Number 525-2010-00266. A copy of the EEOC’s Notice of Right to Sue is annexed hereto as EXHIBIT C.

PARTIES

7. Plaintiff is an individual woman who was at all times relevant herein a long term employee of the Defendant ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT.

8. Defendant ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT is a municipal corporation organized under the laws of the State of New York.

9. Defendant JEAN CLAUDE BRIZARD is the acting Superintendent of Schools for all relevant times herein (“Superintendent Brizard”).

FACTS

10. Plaintiff is an African American female over 40 years of age. 11. Plaintiff’s date of birth is October 26, 1952.

12. Plaintiff has been employed with Rochester City School District for 35 years.

13. Plaintiff first began her career with the Rochester City School District as a Teacher at Franklin High School in 1975.

14. Through a series of promotions throughout the years, Plaintiff diligently and devotedly worked her way up to the position of Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, which Plaintiff has held since October 2008. 15. Throughout Plaintiff’s entire career, she has maintained outstanding performance reviews, promotions, and have received wage increases throughout her tenure.

16. As recently as January 8, 2010, Plaintiff was given the additional responsibility over the supervision of three Chiefs of Schools.

17. On several occasions, from January 2008 through January 2010, Plaintiff’s supervisor, Superintendent Brizard, made several derogatory comments regarding Plaintiff’s age.

18. In or about November 2009 during a citywide principal’s meeting, at which Plaintiff was present, Superintendent Brizard said to all present “in teaching, age matters.”

19. After returning from a national conference in or about 2009, Superintendent Brizard stated to some members of his upper-level management Cabinet, including Plaintiff, Cheryl Holloway, Sue Kaufmann, and Michele Hancock, “you all are old.”

20. In or about January 2010, during a Cabinet meeting, Superintendent Brizard said to all present that “you remember that one of the charges made against me was keeping too many of the old guard.”

21. On or about January 19, 2010, during a Principal’s meeting, Superintendent Brizard stated to all present that the “people most affected [by Mayoral control] will be Central Office people. The effort will be to get rid of a lot of ‘R.I.P.s.’ You know what ‘R.I.P.s.’ are? Retired-in-Place.”

22. Furthermore, during the 2008-2009 academic school year at a meeting with Plaintiff, Kim Dyce, Michele Hancock, Superintendent Brizard made it clear to Plaintiff that there was tension among us because there was a “case” of “strong black women.”

23. Kim Dyce, Michele Hancock, and Plaintiff are all African-American females.

24. Prior to Superintendent Brizard’s appointment, Plaintiff never received a negative performance evaluation. 25. Plaintiff was scheduled to have my mid-year evaluation for the 2008-2009 academic year in January 2009. 26. Plaintiff met with Superintendent Brizard on February 3, 2009 but Plaintiff did not receive her mid-year evaluation with Superintendent Brizard until June 23, 2009, wherein Superintendent Brizard told Plaintiff that he was “taking a hands-off approach to Special Education,” which was not even within the initial purview of Plaintiff’s responsibilities (those duties were initially assigned to Kirsten Barclay, Superintendent Brizard’s “special assistant”).

27. Superintendent Brizard also indicated that there were “issues” in the implementation of the Rochester Curriculum, and that Plaintiff acted as a “bystander” to her work. 28. Superintendent Brizard did not elaborate nor provide specific evidence on any of his claims.

29. Plaintiff submitted a rebuttal to Superintendent Brizard’s negative evaluation of Plaintiff on July 23, 2009, but he did not acknowledge it nor respond to it.

30. In December 2009, Plaintiff received her end of year evaluation for the 2008 2009 academic year, which ended in June 2009.

31. In that written evaluation, Superintendent Brizard told Plaintiff that “it saddens me to say that you have not met the rigor required to move our work forward.”

32. Superintendent Brizard did not meet with me to discuss his concerns.

33. On January 8, 2010, Superintendent Brizard gave Plaintiff added responsibility over the supervision of the three Chiefs of Schools.

34. On January 22, 2010, Superintendent Brizard met with Plaintiff and told her she had three options: (1) resign effective January 26 without severance; (2) retire; or (3) discontinue without cause and receive 6 months severance.

35. Superintendent Brizard informed Plaintiff that she had until January 26, 2010 by 9AM to respond in writing. 36. Superintendent Brizard then gave Plaintiff a letter apprising her of the fact that he planned to terminate her effective January 26, 2010, pursuant to Section 21 of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Education Relating to Superintendent’s Employee Group, and that Plaintiff should not report to work.

37. Plaintiff was effectively terminated on January 26, 2010.

38. Plaintiff filed Charges with the EEOC on or about January 25, 2010.

39. Plaintiff’s termination papers included the reason for my termination “dismissed without cause.”

40. On January 28, 2010, Superintendent Brizard indicated in a Democrat and Chronicle news article that he was “informed of the complaint by a reporter during a telephone interview, [he] denied the charges but acknowledged firing Patterson-Grant for what he called “concerns with her performance,” impugning her longstanding excellent reputation within the community. 41. Similar statements in interviews were given to news reporters and broadcasted on at least 4 local television stations.

42. These statements made deliberately by Superintendent Brizard degrading Plaintiff’s professional experience were made in retaliation for her having engaged in protected activity by filing formal Charges with the EEOC.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT UNDER TITLE VII

AGAINST THE RCSD

43. Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges by reference each and every allegations contained in the above stated paragraphs and incorporates the same as though fully set forth herein.

44. Defendants, through its agent, engaged in a continuing pattern of unremedied race discrimination by subjecting Plaintiff to unwelcome harassment through the creation of a hostile work environment based on race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. 45. Defendant at all times relevant herein had actual and constructive knowledge of the conduct described herein.

46. The above described unwelcome racial harassment by defendant’s agent created an intimidating, oppressive work environment which interfered with the Plaintiff’s well being.

47. As a result of the hostile and offensive work environment, perpetrated and maintained by defendants, and each of them, and their failure to protect the Plaintiff from further harassment, the Plaintiff suffers from severe emotional distress.

48. Defendants violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, by failing to adequately supervise, control, discipline, and/or otherwise penalize the conduct, acts and failures to act of the defendants as described above.

49. Defendant failed to comply with their duty to take all reasonable and necessary steps to eliminate racial harassment from the workplace and to prevent it from occurring in the future.

50. As a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s willful, knowing and intentional discrimination against her, Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer pain and suffering and extreme and severe mental anguish and emotional anguish and emotional distress; she has incurred and will continue to incur medical expenses for treatment by health care professionals, and for other incidental expenses, and she has suffered and will continue to suffer a loss of earnings and other employment benefits and job opportunities. Plaintiff is thereby entitled to general and compensatory damages in amounts to be proven at trial.

51. As a further and proximate result of defendant’s violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Plaintiff has been compelled to retain the services of counsel in an effort to enforce the terms and conditions of the employment relationship with defendants and each of them, and has thereby incurred and will continue to incur, legal fees and costs, the full nature and extent of which are presently unknown to the Plaintiff. Plaintiff further requests that attorney fees be awarded.

52. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that the outrageous conduct of defendant described above was done with fraud, oppression and malice, with a conscious disregard for her rights, and with the intent, design, and purpose of injuring her. Plaintiff is further informed and believes that defendant authorized, condoned and/or ratified the unlawful conduct alleged herein, specifically. By reason thereof, Plaintiff is entitled to exemplary damages from all defendants in a sum to be adduced at trial.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION

HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT BASED ON RACE UNDER

NEW YORK STATE EXECUTIVE LAW

AGAINST THE RCSD

53. Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges by reference each and every allegations in the above stated paragraphs and incorporates the same as though fully set forth herein.

54. Defendants, through its agent, engaged in a continuing pattern of unremedied race discrimination by subjecting Plaintiff to unwelcome harassment through the creation of a hostile work environment based on race in violation of The New York State Human Rights Law, (“NYSHRL”) Executive Sections 290, et seq. This claim does not raise a novel or complex issue of law. 55. Defendant at all times relevant herein had actual and constructive knowledge of the conduct described herein.

56. The above described unwelcome harassment by defendant’s agent created an intimidating, oppressive work environment which interfered with the Plaintiff’s well being.

57. As a result of the hostile and offensive work environment, perpetrated and maintained by defendants, and each of them, by their condonation, and their failure to protect the Plaintiff from further harassment, the Plaintiff suffers from severe emotional distress.

58. Defendants violated the NYSHRL as amended, by failing to adequately supervise, control, discipline, and/or otherwise penalize the conduct, acts and failures to act of the defendants as described above.

59. Defendant failed to comply with their duty to take all reasonable and necessary steps to eliminate harassment from the workplace and to prevent it from occurring in the future.

60. As a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s willful, knowing and intentional discrimination against her, Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer pain and suffering and extreme and severe mental anguish and emotional anguish and emotional distress; and for other incidental expenses, and she has suffered and will continue to suffer a loss of earnings and other employment benefits and job opportunities. Plaintiff is thereby entitled to general and compensatory damages in amounts to be proven at trial.

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION

HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT BASED ON SEX UNDER TITLE VII

AGAINST THE RCSD

61. Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges by reference each and every allegations contained in the above stated paragraphs and incorporates the same as though fully set forth herein.

62. Defendants, through its agents, engaged in a continuing pattern of unremedied sex discrimination by subjecting Plaintiff to unwelcome harassment through the creation of a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. 63. Defendant at all times relevant herein had actual and constructive knowledge of the conduct described herein.

64. The above described unwelcome harassment by defendant’s agent, created an intimidating, oppressive work environment which interfered with the Plaintiff’s well being, both emotionally and physically.

65. As a result of the hostile and offensive work environment, perpetrated and maintained by defendants, and each of them, and their failure to protect the Plaintiff from further harassment, the Plaintiff suffers from severe emotional distress.

66. Defendants violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, by failing to adequately supervise, control, discipline, and/or otherwise penalize the conduct, acts and failures to act of the defendants as described above.

67. Defendant failed to comply with their duty to take all reasonable and necessary steps to eliminate the harassment from the workplace and to prevent it from occurring in the future.

68. As a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s willful, knowing and intentional discrimination against her, Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer pain and suffering and extreme and severe mental anguish and emotional anguish and emotional distress; she has incurred and will continue to incur medical expenses for treatment by health care professionals, and for other incidental expenses, and she has suffered and will continue to suffer a loss of earnings and other employment benefits and job opportunities. Plaintiff is thereby entitled to general and compensatory damages in amounts to be proven at trial.

69. As a further and proximate result of defendant’s violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Plaintiff has been compelled to retain the services of counsel in an effort to enforce the terms and conditions of the employment relationship with defendants and each of them, and has thereby incurred and will continue to incur, legal fees and costs, the full nature and extent of which are presently unknown to the Plaintiff. Plaintiff further requests that attorney fees be awarded.

70. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that the outrageous conduct of defendant described above was done with fraud, oppression and malice, with a conscious disregard for her rights, and with the intent, design, and purpose of injuring her. Plaintiff is further informed and believes that defendant authorized, condoned and/or ratified the unlawful conduct alleged herein, specifically. By reason thereof, Plaintiff is entitled to exemplary damages from all defendants in a sum to be adduced at trial.

FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION

HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT UNDER NEW YORK STATE EXECUTIVE LAW

AGAINST THE RCSD

71. Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges by reference each and every allegation contained in the above stated paragraphs, and incorporates the same as though fully set forth herein.

72. Defendants, through its agent, engaged in a continuing pattern of unremedied sex discrimination by subjecting Plaintiff to unwelcome harassment through the creation of a hostile work environment in violation of The New York State Human Rights Law, (“NYSHRL”) Executive Sections 290, et seq. This claim does not raise a novel or complex issue of law in the context if this federal lawsuit. 73. Defendant at all times relevant herein had actual and constructive knowledge of the conduct described herein.

74. The above described unwelcome harassment by defendant’s agent created an intimidating, oppressive work environment which interfered with the Plaintiff’s well being.

75. As a result of the hostile and offensive work environment, perpetrated by, and maintained by, an agent of the defendant, and the failure to protect the Plaintiff from further harassment, the Plaintiff suffers from severe emotional distress.

76. Defendants violated the NYSHRL as amended, by failing to adequately supervise, control, discipline, and/.or otherwise penalize the conduct, acts and failures to act of the defendants as described above, even when high-ranking supervisors were made aware of the hostile environment.

77. Defendant failed to comply with their duty to take all reasonable and necessary steps to eliminate sexual harassment from the workplace and to prevent it from occurring in the future.

78. As a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s willful, knowing and intentional discrimination against her, Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer pain and suffering and extreme and severe mental anguish and emotional anguish and emotional distress; she has incurred and will continue to incur medical expenses for treatment by health care professionals, and for other incidental expenses, and she has suffered and will continue to suffer a loss of earnings and other employment benefits and job opportunities. Plaintiff is thereby entitled to general and compensatory damages in amounts to be proven at trial.

79. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that the outrageous conduct of defendant described above was done with fraud, oppression and malice, with a conscious disregard for her rights, and with the intent, design, and purpose of injuring her. Plaintiff is further informed and believes that defendant authorized, condoned and/or ratified the unlawful conduct alleged herein, specifically. By reason thereof, Plaintiff is entitled to exemplary damages from all defendants in a sum to be adduced at trial.

FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION

DISCRIMINATION AS PER THE ADEA

AGAINST THE RCSD

80. Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges by reference each and every allegations contained in paragraphs stated above and incorporates the same as though fully set forth herein.

81. The employment practices of defendant described above harm older employees of the defendant and favor younger employees. The practices so described are not based upon a reasonable factor other than age and are in fact the “but for” reason for the actions taken herein.

82. Defendant has purposefully engaged in age discriminatory practices with the full knowledge that in so doing it was discriminating against its older employees, without regard for the rights of those employees under the ADEA.

83. Defendant disciplined, demoted, and terminated Plaintiff on account of her age, and thereby violated his right to equal employment opportunity as protected by the ADEA.

84. As such, Plaintiff is entitled to liquidated damages and attorney fees under the ADEA.

SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION

RETALIATION ON THE BASIS OF RACE AS PER 42 U.S.C. § 1981

AGAINST ALL NAMED DEFENDANTS

85. Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges by reference each and every allegations contained in paragraphs stated above and incorporates the same as though fully set forth herein.

86. Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC on January 25, 2010. Several days after Plaintiff filed her charge of discrimination with the EEOC setting forth her good faith belief that he was subject to discrimination on the basis of her race, Superintendent Brizard reported in a Democrat and Chronicle news article that he was “informed of the complaint by a reporter during a telephone interview, [he] denied the charges but acknowledged firing Patterson-Grant for what he called “concerns with her performance,” impugning her longstanding excellent reputation within the community, and despite the fact that her termination was “without cause,” publicly disgracing a long term employee of the Rochester City School District and rendering it near impossible for her to find prospective employment.

87. That by formally protesting the conditions of her work place on the basis of national origin/race with management and by filing her charge of discrimination, Plaintiff engaged in protected activity under 42 U.S.C. § 1981.

88. Plaintiff was thereafter defamed in the media days after she filed her first charge of discrimination.

89. That there was a causal connection between Plaintiff’s engagement in protected activity and the retaliatory treatment she suffered. 90. Defendants, and each of them, engaged in a pattern of illegal retaliation because the Plaintiff had complained of race discrimination, which encompasses ancestry and/or ethnic characteristics. 91. Defendant had no legitimate business reason for these actions.

92. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ willful, knowing and intentional discrimination against her, Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer pain and suffering and extreme and severe mental anguish and emotional anguish and emotional distress; she has incurred and will continue to incur medical expenses for treatment by health care professionals, and for other incidental expenses, and he has suffered and will continue to suffer a loss of earnings and other employment benefits and job opportunities. Plaintiff is thereby entitled to general and compensatory damages in amounts to be proven at trial.

93. As a further and proximate result of Defendants’ violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Plaintiff has been compelled to retain the services of counsel in an effort to enforce the terms and conditions of the employment relationship with Defendants and each of them, and has thereby incurred and will continue to incur, legal fees and costs, the full nature and extent of which are presently unknown to the Plaintiff. Plaintiff requests that attorney fees be awarded.

94. Defendants’ conduct as described herein was malicious and oppressive, and done with a conscious disregard of Plaintiffs rights. The acts were performed with the knowledge of defendants' economic power over Plaintiff. Defendant ratified the unlawful conduct of its employees in this action. Consequently, Plaintiff is entitled to punitive or exemplary damages from all Defendants.

SEVENTH CAUSE OF ACTION

RETALIATION AS PER TITLE VII

AGAINST THE RCSD

95. Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges by reference each and every allegations contained in paragraphs stated above and incorporates the same as though fully set forth herein.

96. Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC on January 25, 2010 alleging violations of Title VII and the ADEA. Several days after Plaintiff filed her charge of discrimination with the EEOC setting forth her good faith belief that he was subject to discrimination on the basis of her race, Superintendent Brizard reported in a Democrat and Chronicle news article that he was “informed of the complaint by a reporter during a telephone interview, [he] denied the charges but acknowledged firing Patterson-Grant for what he called “concerns with her performance,” impugning her longstanding excellent reputation within the community, and despite the fact that her termination was “without cause,” publicly disgracing a long term employee of the Rochester City School District and rendering it near impossible for her to find prospective employment.

97. That by formally protesting the conditions of her work place on the basis of national origin/race with management and by filing her charge of discrimination, Plaintiff engaged in protected activity under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. 98. Plaintiff was thereafter defamed in the media days after she filed her first charge of discrimination in retaliation thereto.

99. That there was a causal connection between Plaintiff’s engagement in protected activity and the retaliatory treatment she suffered. 100. Defendants, and each of them, engaged in a pattern of illegal retaliation because the Plaintiff had complained of race discrimination, which encompasses ancestry and/or ethnic characteristics under Title VII. 101. Defendant had no legitimate business reason for these actions.

102. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ willful, knowing and intentional discrimination against her, Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer pain and suffering and extreme and severe mental anguish and emotional anguish and emotional distress; she has incurred and will continue to incur medical expenses for treatment by health care professionals, and for other incidental expenses, and he has suffered and will continue to suffer a loss of earnings and other employment benefits and job opportunities. Plaintiff is thereby entitled to general and compensatory damages in amounts to be proven at trial.

103. As a further and proximate result of Defendants’ violations of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, Plaintiff has been compelled to retain the services of counsel in an effort to enforce the terms and conditions of the employment relationship with Defendants and each of them, and has thereby incurred and will continue to incur, legal fees and costs, the full nature and extent of which are presently unknown to the Plaintiff. Plaintiff requests that attorney fees be awarded.

104. Defendants’ conduct as described herein was malicious and oppressive, and done with a conscious disregard of Plaintiffs rights. The acts were performed with the knowledge of defendants' economic power over Plaintiff. Defendant ratified the unlawful conduct of its employees in this action. Consequently, Plaintiff is entitled to punitive or exemplary damages from all Defendants.

EIGHTH CAUSE OF ACTION

RETALIATION UNDER NEW YORK STATE HUMAN RIGHTS LAW,

EXECUTIVE LAW SECTION 290 et seq. AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS

105. Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges by reference each and every allegations contained in the above stated paragraphs and incorporates the same as though fully set forth herein.

106. Defendants, and each of them, engaged in a pattern of illegal retaliation in violation of New York State Human Rights Law, Executive Law Section 290 et seq.

107. Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC on January 25, 2010. Several days after Plaintiff filed her charge of discrimination with the EEOC setting forth her good faith belief that he was subject to discrimination on the basis of her race, Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard reported in a Democrat and Chronicle news article that he was “informed of the complaint by a reporter during a telephone interview, [he] denied the charges but acknowledged firing Patterson-Grant for what he called “concerns with her performance,” impugning her longstanding excellent reputation within the community, and despite the fact that her termination was “without cause,” publicly disgracing a long term employee of the Rochester City School District and rendering it near impossible for her to find prospective employment. 108. As a direct and proximate result of defendant’s willful, knowing and intentional discrimination against her, Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer severe mental and emotional anguish, and she has suffered and will continue to suffer a loss of earnings and other employment benefits and job opportunities. Plaintiff is thereby entitled to general and compensatory damages in amounts to be proven at the time of trial.

109. Defendants conduct as described herein was malicious and oppressive, and done with a conscious disregard of Plaintiff’s rights. The acts were performed with the knowledge of an employers’ economic power over its employees. Defendant ratified the unlawful conduct of its employees in this action. Consequently, Plaintiff is entitled to exemplary damages from all defendants. NINTH CAUSE OF ACTION

CLAIMS UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 1983

Discrimination in Violation of the Equal Protection Clause

AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS

110. Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges by reference each and every allegations contained in paragraphs stated above and incorporates the same as though fully set forth herein.

111. In engaging in the conduct described above, defendant deprived plaintiff of her civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in particular, the discrimination Plaintiff suffered on the basis of her sex, race, and age violated the Plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment right to Equal Protection of the law.

112. The discrimination suffered by the Plaintiff was egregious and shocking to the conscience. As a direct result, Plaintiff was caused to undergo the humiliation and indignities from the discrimination she suffered, and was caused and will continue to undergo and endure severe mental anguish, humiliation and economic hardship as a consequence thereof.

113. Such deprivations were in violation of the rights secured to plaintiff by the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and by Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in particular the Equal Protection Clause.

114. As a result of the defendant’s deprivations of Plaintiff’s civil rights, Plaintiff has been damaged in an amount to be determined by a jury at the time of trial.

115. That Plaintiff demands costs and attorney fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988.

TENTH CAUSE OF ACTION

42 U.S.C.§§ 1981, 1983 MONELL Liability

116. Plaintiff incorporates by reference all of the foregoing paragraphs and further alleges as follows:

117. The ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, by and through the deliberate indifference of its final policy maker, Superintendent Brizard, both created and maintained a custom, policy, or practice of condoning, facilitating or promoting the use of unconstitutional retaliation, despite actual or constructive knowledge that the failure to provide such training, supervision, and discipline had led to or was likely to lead to the constitutional violations described herein

118. It was the action of Superintendent Brizard himself, who publicly commented in the newspaper and news media, as form of retaliation, that Plaintiff was terminated for performance issues, when in fact, she was terminated without cause. 119. As a direct and proximate result of the ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT’S unconstitutional policies and practices of condoning retaliation, particularly that of its own Superintendent, and providing grossly inadequate mechanisms for training, supervision, and discipline, the individual defendants in this case caused Plaintiff to be deprived of her civil rights.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays as follows:

A. That the Court award damages to her and against the defendants, jointly and severally, in an amount to be determined at trial;

B. That the Court award punitive damages to her, and against all individual defendants, in an amount to be determined at trial, and that will deter such conduct by the defendants in the future;

C. For prejudgment interest and recovery of her costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees as stated above;

D. For any and all other relief to which Plaintiff may be entitled as a matter of law and equity.

Dated: January 8, 2011 Rochester, New York

Submitted By:

CHRISTINA A. AGOLA, PLLC

Christina A. Agola Esq., ATTORNEY(s) FOR PLAINTIFF

MARILYNN PATTERSON GRANT

2100 First Federal Plaza 28 East Main Street Rochester, New York 14614 585.262.3320

cagola@wnycivilrights.com

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

MARILYNN PATTERSON GRANT,

Plaintiff,

v.

ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT & SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, JEAN-CLAUDE BRIZARD,

Defendants.

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

Civ. Cas. No.: 10-cv-6384

The undersigned, Christina A. Agola, Esq., hereby certifies that on January 8, 2011, I

electronically filed the Amended Complaint, dated January 8, 2011 with the Clerk of the District

Court using the CM/ECF system, which sent notification of such filing to opposing counsel:

Cara M. Briggs, Esq., of Counsel 131 West Broad Street Rochester, New York 14614 585.262-8280 Direct 585.262-8412 Fax 585.262.8625

Dated: January 8, 2011

Rochester, New York

CHRISTINA A. AGOLA, PLLC

By:

/s/ Christina A. Agola, Esq.

Christina A. Agola, Esq.

Attorneys for Plaintiff

2100 First Federal Plaza

28 East Main Street

Rochester, New York 14614

585.262.3320 (phone)

585.262.3325 (fax)

caa@wnycivilrights.com



Comments:

April 22, 2011 at 7:55 AM

By: Rod Estvan

EEOC finding and legality of hiring Brizard

I would say based on Mr. Kugler's references to CPS internal rules there is no legal impediment to CPS hiring Mr. Brizard. The rule in question applies to employees of CPS, Mr. Brizard was not a CPS employee during the time the illegal actions against Marilyn Patterson-Grant took place.

I am not supporting the actions of Mr. Brizard, but I do think there needs to be a reality check here. The legal finding in the case is against the school district and Mr. Brizard as an employee of the district and does not involve criminal charges that would clearly prohibit his employment as a public educator under the Illinois school code. There are some federal funding rules that CPS could use to claim it could not hire Mr. Brizard if it wanted to, but it clearly does not want to.

Does anyone really think the US DOE would intervene in this matter? I for one don't.

It is my opinion that Mr. Brizard will be hired and any attempt to use Illinois law to block that employment will fail.

Rod Estvan

April 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM

By: John Kugler

Selective Enforcement and Memory

CPS is selective and discriminatory when it hires and fires people. CPS will spend $100,000 investigating a 30 year veteran teacher living in Cicero and then spend another $200,000 to terminate her only to make a settlement deal to let her retire; all in a game to waste the taxpayer money and frighten our members. Brizard should have been vetted better and should not be hired [1] because he has ongoing legal issues that involve federal civil rights.

As has been the recent history, CPS administrators love to violate constitutional rights, so Brizard will be hired and fit right in. From past practice it looks like this guy, just as Huberman, will cost the district lots of money in legal costs, so the lawyers must be happy he is coming into town. [2, 3]

Another chaos agent. [4]

Here's Brizard six months ago (article no longer on-line):

However, Brizard said he still has work to do here.

"It is very important that (district staff) not get the impression that I'm fly-by-night and don't have a commitment to the city," he said. "We've flipped this place upside down and I plan to stay and see it through."[5]

By the way this guy is already on the desk of the CPS legal department.

Patrick Rocks, who has been asked to continue in his role as Chicago Public School general counsel under Emanuel’s new school team, said Wednesday he was not familiar with Brizard’s Rochester contract, but he argued that the Chicago School Board could not get stuck with any bail-out penalty.

“It can’t” be forced to pick up such a tab, Rocks said. “It’s Rochester’s contract.’’[6]

John Kugler

References

[1] "Deregulation at 'CAO' level lets convicted frauds run Chicago areas... Huberman appoints convicted fraudster to new 'AO' position” John Kugler (26 August 2009) Substance News. http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=843

[2] "CTU Lawsuit Victory as Seventh Circuit Federal Court Affirms Chicago Teacher Tenure Rights" George N. Schmidt (29 March 2011) Substance News. http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=2135

[3]"Lynch Wins First Amendment Fight against Huberman, Chicago Board of Education" George N. Schmidt (26 March 2010) Substance News. http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=1269

[4] The Shock Doctrine : The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism. Naomi Klein (2007) Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, New York. http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip0717/2007018652.html

[5] "Chicago's New Schools CEO: Courageous in Pursuit of What's Best for His Students" Ramsin Canon (19 April 2011) Gapers Block. http://gapersblock.com/mechanics/2011/04/19/chicagos-new-schools-ceo-a-primer/

[6]"New CPS Chief Owes Us $100K for Quitting, Rochester Schools Say" Rosalind Rossi and Fran Spielman (21 April 2011) Chicago Sun-Times. http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/4935709-418/new-cps-chief-owes-us-100k-for-quitting-rochester-schools-say.html

April 25, 2011 at 7:55 AM

By: John Kugler

Another Federal lawsuit

tribune is reporting that this guy has another lawsuit against him for mistreating individuals.

Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's pick to be the city's next schools chief has drawn two federal lawsuits questioning his practices during his contentious three years as superintendent of the school district in Rochester, N.Y., Chicago media outlets reported.

In the other lawsuit, a former coordinator for homeless children and families accused Brizard of routinely sending teachers under investigation to a "rubber room" as punishment for educators the district sought to fire. Roseann Kilduff said she had been assigned for five months to an alternative work site "where she languished doing nothing all day," never told of the allegations against her.

The Rochester Teachers Association filed class-action grievances against the "punitive and insensitive" practice; since then, union president Adam Urbanski said, referrals to the rubber room have declined.

Suits question new Chicago schools CEO's practices

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-il-chicagoschools-br,0,3935831.story

11:00 a.m. CDT, April 24, 2011

Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's pick to be the city's next schools chief has drawn two federal lawsuits questioning his practices during his contentious three years as superintendent of the school district in Rochester, N.Y., Chicago media outlets reported.

April 25, 2011 at 3:14 PM

By: Rod Estvan

about Brizard

There are so many negative things hitting the media about Mr. Brizard that his appointment regardless of his talents and compatibility with the vision for education of the Mayor elect appears to have been an error. A big part of the responsibility for this error lies in whoever on the Mayor elect transition team was supposed to have vetted Mr. Brizard. Moreover, some of the responsibility may lie with Eli Broad and his Broad Center for the Management of School Systems.

Mr. Broad has effectively endorsed Jean Claude Brizard and has used him as a lecturer at his Academy. Forbes back in January ran an article on Mr. Broad's contribution to Mr. Emanuel's campaign. This article can be seen at http://blogs.forbes.com/clareoconnor/2011/01/24/rahm-emanuels-war-chest-14-billionaires-plus-facebook-and-groupon-founders/

The contribution Mr. Broad gave to the campaign can be seen by going to:

http://www.elections.il.gov/CampaignDisclosure/ItemizedContrib.aspx?FiledDocID=422945&ContributionType=Individual+Contributions&Archived=True&OrderBy=Last+or+Only+Name+-+A+to+Z&ItemizedContribFrom=D2Semi.aspx

Regardless of what one thinks of the Mayor-elect's educational agenda this selection has been a PR disaster. It requires some strategic rethinking on the part of the Mayor-elect on the extent he wants to follow the game plan laid out for education by philanthropists like Mr. Broad.

Rod Estvan

April 25, 2011 at 8:11 PM

By: John Kugler

Brizard a Failed and Inconsistent Administrator

Emanuel claimed last week that Brizard’s willingness to shake things up and “put children first” boosted Rochester’s high school graduation rate from 39 percent to 51 percent in three years under his leadership.

But the 39 percent figure dates back to 2006, well before Brizard became Rochester superintendent in January 2008. And the 51 percent figure reflects five years of graduates, ending in 2010 -- not three.

Brizard’s undated resume lists an even steeper climb, stating that he raised rates from 39 percent to 52 percent. That trajectory again starts in 2006, well before his tenure, and ends after his first eight months.

Emanuel’s team also praised his work for New York City schools, noting high school graduation rates jumped 13 percent from 2005 to 2009, but it’s unclear how much credit Brizard deserves for the increase. Brizard worked in four jobs in five years as a district administrator, including a year as executive director of the high school division in 2005-06 and a year as a regional superintendent. He was long gone by 2009.

“He hasn’t had a job long enough or with enough direct responsibility to establish a lengthy record in New York or Rochester,” said Bloomfield.

New schools chief Brizard largely likable but often not liked

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/4995935-417/new-schools-chief-brizard-largely-likable-but-often-not-liked.html

April 27, 2011 at 12:29 AM

By: John Kugler

Fox Guarding the Henhouse

seen this tonight michelle rhee supporting brizard. didn't she get fired from her job in DC for the same shit like Brizard? lawsuits, parent dissatisfaction, not working with union?

seems strange that a fox would say it was safe for the wolf to watch the chickens!

School Reformer Michelle Rhee Endorses New CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard

Published : Tuesday, 26 Apr 2011, 6:46 PM CDT

By Robin Robinson, FOX Chicago News

Chicago - Nationally recognized school reformer Michelle Rhee was in Chicago on Tuesday, and she offered a strong endorsement of new Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, who was disliked by most teachers in his previous district of Rochester.

"I would be very concerned if the mayor had chosen a superintendent who didn't have any controversy, because when you're doing the tough things, making the hard decisions, there's gonna be some controversy," Rhee said. "If you have everybody loving you that means you're probably not making the tough decisions."

Rhee, the former Washington, D.C. schools chancellor, isn't the sort of person to make nice; if you saw her in the documentary "Waiting for Superman," you saw her describe the schools there as "crap."

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