City Hall officials on Monday confirmed Rachel Noerdlinger, a longtime top aide to reverend Al Sharpton, will serve as chief of staff to first lady Chirlane McCray. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
For now, First Lady Chirlane McCray has a publicly-paid chief of staff, but no staff to supervise. It's also unclear what McCray's exact role will be in City Hall.
What does seem clear is that by hiring a close confidante of activist Al Sharpton, it's a testament to how far his influence has come in City Hall. Rudolph Giuliani wouldn't even meet with Sharpton while he was mayor.
"Mayor Giuliani was absolutely wrong to not meet with Rev. Al Sharpton. And by the way he wouldn't meet with the Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields. It's just not the way you are supposed to govern," de Blasio said.
It's also a reminder that the mayor and the first lady say they make many of their decisions as a team, something that supporters have pointed to as an asset.
"We need a city that is led by this couple that has been so committed for so long to making this one city," Sharpton said.
De Blasio and his wife were with Sharpton in Harlem to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. At an earlier event in Brooklyn, the theme of a partnership between the first couple was made into a joke during their introduction.
"I'm going to now bring on the leader of the City of New York. And she happens to be married to the mayor of the City of New York: Chirlane and Mayor Bill de Blasio," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Noerdlinger, who will make $170,000 per year, praised her work with Sharpton.
"For 15 years I have been honored to stand by your side Reverend Sharpton and the National Action Network and the work we have done in the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for civil rights and social justice has been nothing short of historic," Noerdlinger.
For now, Mayor de Blasio declined to offer any specifics about what specific role the first lady will be playing in the city government. He says more announcements on that subject would be forthcoming in the days and weeks to come.