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De Blasio: I warned Carvalho of tabloid ‘scrutiny’ in the ‘big leagues’ of NYC

The schools chancellor search has restarted after the city was “blindsided” by the Miami-Dade superintendent’s reversal, de Blasio says.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday, March 1,

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday, March 1, 2018, at City Hall after Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho announced abruptly that he would renege on an agreement to head the New York City school system. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Weeks before reneging on the New York City schools chancellorship on live television, the Miami schools chief was warned by Mayor Bill de Blasio that details of an alleged extramarital scandal would resurface in the city’s tabloids, the mayor said Friday.

De Blasio, speaking during his weekly WNYC radio appearance, said he cautioned his pick for the city’s school chancellor, Alberto Carvalho, “in great detail” how “all these issues would be rehashed.

“There would be scrutiny. It was quite explicit that this is the number-one city in the country, the number-one education job in the country, and if you’re gonna come here, this is the big leagues and expect to get ready for it,” de Blasio said.

The mayor had been asked by host Brian Lehrer about a decade-old scandal in which emails surfaced that suggested that the married Carvalho had been carrying on an extramarital affair with an education reporter for the local newspaper. He survived the allegations, which he denied; she resigned from her job.

On Thursday, Carvalho abruptly declared on live television that he was “honor-bound” to stay in Miami after locals begged during a five-hour-long Miami-Dade school board meeting in which speaker after speaker heaped praise.

De Blasio found out in real time that Carvalho, a formerly homeless undocumented immigrant who rose to lead the nation’s fourth largest school system, was reneging on a job offer accepted last week.

On Friday, de Blasio said he was still confused and surprised at what happened 24 hours earlier.

“I can’t read his mind,” the mayor said, adding: “The people who were blindsided were 1.1 million school children in this city who deserved better.”

De Blasio said the search for a new chancellor has restarted, and that the current chief, Carmen Fariña, has agreed to stay for another month.

Fariña announced in December that she would retire after five decades in education.

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