Top Aide to de Blasio to Leave City Hall

NEW YORK (AP) -

One of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s top aides is departing City Hall in the first major staff shake-up in the administration.

Peter Ragone, a senior adviser, is leaving the administration at the end of the month. He ran de Blaiso’s communications team, shaped the mayor’s public image and was one of the mayor’s closest advisers. He and the mayor have been friends for decades.

Ragone plans to return to California, where his family lives and where he frequently commuted on weekends. Phil Walzak, currently the mayor’s press secretary, will step into Ragone’s role as senior adviser for strategic planning.