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Since being appointed to the school board by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Deborah Quazzo’s investments have seen an upward trend, thanks to the increased business they’ve received from Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Emanuel defended the appointment to the Chicago Sun Times.

“Deb has the public spiritedness and the commitment on education as well as public policy, but on education specifically, to serve and bring that energy and that passion to her role on the CPS board,” he said at a news conference on his first day back from a South American vacation.

“Deb says she’ll answer any questions, the [Inspector General’s] going to look into it. I’m pleased that she’s volunteered her time to serve and she’s going to continue to do it,” Emanuel said of Quazzo, who donated $5,000 to his 2011 mayoral campaign.

The Mayor walked away when asked specifically about the conflict of interest.

Since taking her seat on the board in June 2013, the five educational companies Quazzo has investments in have received $2.9 million. CPS and two mayoral challengers have asked Quazzo to resign.

Emanuel has opposed elected school boards because he doesn’t believe they are as accountable. Under the current system, members are accountable to the Mayor, not the taxpayers.

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