We’re not really sure why the mayor’s wife needs a chief of staff – or a staff at all, for that matter - that gets paid $170,000 a year, but apparently she does, and that someone is Rachel Noerdlinger.
Noerdlinger, it turns out, lives with an ex-con boyfriend who has made disparaging remarks about police officers on social media, has a $28,000 tax lien against her, was once in the car when her boyfriend was arrested for marijuana, and has a dubious waiver that allows her to live in New Jersey, which isn’t allowed of city employees.
None of those facts were uncovered or revealed during her background check with the Department of Investigation, but they sure have been making the headlines for the past week or so.
For his part, Mayor Bill de Blasio has been acting like they don’t exist, responding to reporters’ questions with terse remarks and refusals to discuss the Noerdlinger issue.
We think it’s great that the mayor’s wife, First Lady Chirlane McCray, wants to get involved and help improve the City of New York by the side of her husband. But we’re not sure voters knew they were getting a two-for-one deal when they elected de Blasio to office.
But what’s done is done, and now McCray has a chief of staff – a seemingly unnecessary position as far as we can tell - who makes well more than most New York public servants get paid. And if that’s going to be the case, then we think the person who holds the position should have an impeccable reputation and character. After all, we’re paying her salary.
It’s time for de Blasio to show that he is in charge of the mayor’s office and tell Noerdlinger that she has got to go so his administration can focus on what really needs addressed in the city.