Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is coming under fire from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders after an outspoken Chicago Public Schools principal was "reassigned" by the district Wednesday.
Troy LaRaviere, who has been critical of the mayor and CPS, was "reassigned from his principal duties" at Blaine Elementary School in Lakeview as a result of "acts of misconduct, including violations of a previous warning resolution passed by the Board of Education," according to CPS.
Sanders slammed the move Thursday, saying, "It is absolutely unacceptable that a school principal is facing politically-motivated retaliation because he dared to stand up to the mayor of Chicago."
"Principal LaRaviere, who won three straight principal merit awards handed out by the mayor, is getting results for the students at Blaine Elementary. The only explanation for his removal appears to be Mayor Emanuel's unhealthy obsession with taking revenge," Sanders added in a statement. "If we are going to build an economy that works for all, we cannot sit back and watch as workers face retaliation from bosses. I condemn Principal LaRaviere's reassignment and call on Democrats around the country to stand up against Mayor Emanuel's pettiness."
In a statement about LaRaviere's reassignment, Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson explainined that the district "did not consult the mayor in making this decision."
"CPS made this decision based on the advice of our attorneys because of alleged acts of misconduct, including violations of a previously board-issued warning resolution," she said.
Mayoral spokeswoman Kelley Quinn added, "CPS handles its own personnel matters, with which the mayor does not interfere."
Ahead of Illinois' March primary, Sanders ran a campaign ad featuring LaRaviere, who will be an at-large delegate for Sanders at the Democratic National Convention, reports DNAinfo Chicago.
In the ad, LaRaviere said: "In Chicago, we have endured a corrupt political system. And the chief politician standing in the way of us getting good schools is our mayor. If you have a presidential candidate that supports someone like our mayor, you have a candidate who is not willing to take on the establishment."
LaRaviere also supported Emanuel's opponent, Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, in last year's mayoral election.
The district said "a hearing will be held to determine (LaRaviere's) employment status." Von Steuben High School's former principal Pedro Alonso is taking over as Blaine's interim principal.