A top aide in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration said Monday she was going on leave after her son’s arrest capped a string of damaging disclosures about her personal life, amplifying friction between the mayor and rank-and-file police.
Rachel Noerdlinger said she was taking an indefinite, unpaid leave from working as chief of staff to de Blasio’s wife to spend more time with her teenage son. But she and de Blasio also decried what they portrayed as unfair scrutiny of a public official’s private life, with de Blasio saying it bespoke a “systematic effort to undermine” his administration.
Noerdlinger had become a lightning rod for politically charged questions that have swirled around de Blasio’s administration, particularly its close ties to Al Sharpton, Noerdlinger’s former boss.
Columnists and the police union had previously called for Noerdlinger to be fired after her fiance made anti-police remarks and she has a tax lien.
Then her 17-year-old son, Khari Noerdlinger, was arrested Friday for trespassing.
PBA head Patrick Lynch said the city should seek “someone who appreciates the critical role that police have in making this city a viable place to live and who will not bring an anti-police bias to the table.”
De Blasio said he respected her decision but the attention to her personal life was “far, far overblown.”
“Would you all like to have that discussion about yourselves?” he asked reporters.