New York Daily News

Updated: June 30, 2016, 8:01 AM

  

 

Mayor de Blasio’s chief legal counsel is resigning among City Hall, financial probes

BY JENNIFER FERMINO

Mayor de Blasio will be saying farewell to his legal counsel Maya Wiley.  (DAVID HANDSCHUH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Mayor de Blasio's chief legal counsel is stepping down amid a City Hall corruption and finance scandal.

Attorney Maya Wiley, whose resignation is effective July 15, is going back to her civil rights roots, taking a job heading the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board. She will also become a senior vice president for social justice at the New School in Manhattan, where she will also teach.

Before joining de Blasio's staff in 2014, Wiley, 52, was the Founder and former President of the Center for Social Inclusion, a national policy strategy organization on racial inclusion.

Wiley lives in Brooklyn.

"I'm grateful to the Mayor for the privilege of serving him and this city I love as his Counsel, and for all that we've accomplished to improve broadband access, expand contracts for women and minority-owned businesses, and increase women's leadership roles," Wiley said in a statement.

De Blasio called Wiley "a compassionate and brilliant attorney."

"Maya has played a foundational role in many of this administration's most significant accomplishments," the mayor said in a statement. "She has been a strong asset to Chirlane and me since day one."

Wiley's career move comes amid a string of departures from City Hall. Earlier this month, the mayor's press secretary, Karen Hinton stepped down. And this week, the administration's social media director, Scott Kleinberg, resigned abruptly after only eight weeks on the job.

Attorney Maya Wiley will be returning to her civil rights roots and working as head of city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board. (JEENAH MOON/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Wiley famously coined the term "agents of the city" to describe five of the mayor's private sector pals whose correspondence would be shielded from the public.

A source in the administration insisted she left because of an "opportunity" with the New School and not because of the investigations.

She is replacing Richard Emery at the CCRB, who quit after describing the police unions as "squealing like a stuck pig." That didn't go over well with cops, who demanded he resign. He also had two employees accuse him of making sexist comments.

Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, fumed at Wiley's CCRB job.

"By appointing a top aide to lead the CCRB, Mayor de Blasio has effectively removed all impartiality from the critical cases involving police officers that come before this so-called 'independent agency,' " Lynch said in a statement.

"While Ms. Wiley no doubt wanted to leave a City Hall caught in the middle of multiple investigations, this appointment is another example of an administration that puts politically motivated tactics ahead of fairness, and demonstrates once again its increasingly hostile attitude towards the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our city."