The mayor's comments came after the Tribune reported that a high-ranking education source said education and business leaders have told Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard he'll be blamed by the mayor for the city ending up on the brink of a teachers strike and he may be on his way out.
"I'm going to speak for Rahm Emanuel, nobody will speak for me," Emanuel said at an unrelated news conference today. "As soon as I heard about this, I called J.C. and said, 'you focus on the full school day, full school year. You're doing a great job.' "
Several sources told the Tribune that Emanuel is frustrated with Brizard and could let him go — potentially as soon as a contract agreement with teachers is reached.
The mayor characterized the warnings to Brizard as rumors.
"He's doing a great job and has my backing," the mayor said. "And anybody else that says they speak for me hasn't talked to me."
Earlier today, Brizard said that Emanuel called him last night and "affirmed his confidence and support of my leadership."
Brizard also told WLS 890-AM radio that he got two calls from Chicago Board of Education members voicing support for him.
"The confidence is there, we've got work to do and no one needs this kind of distraction," he said.
Questions about Brizard's future come as negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union remain tense. On Thursday the union set a Sept. 10 strike date, but a walkout still could be averted.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun