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Sharpton aide named chief of staff to city’s new first lady

Cyril Josh Barker | 1/23/2014, 2:04 p.m.

Rachel Noerdlinger, the well-known publicist to the Rev. Al Sharpton, has been named chief of staff to New York City’s first lady, Chirlane McCray.

The announcement was made at the National Action Network (NAN) headquarters this week. Noerdlinger is a top aide to Sharpton, serving as NAN’s executive vice president of communications. Over the years, she’s been known in media circles as the civil rights leader’s voice and press agent.

“For 15 years, I have been honored to stand by your side, the Rev. 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 said this week.

Reports indicate she will be paid $170,000 for her work with the wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio. A staff has yet to be assembled for McCray, which will be paid by taxpayers.

McCray’s role in the de Blasio administration has not been specified. New York has not had a first lady since Rudolph Giuliani was mayor with his then-wife newswoman Donna Hanover. During her time as first lady, she promoted health and educational causes and had a staff of four along with an office in Gracie Mansion.

“Mayor Giuliani was absolutely wrong to not meet with the Rev. Al Sharpton. And by the way, he wouldn’t meet with Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields. It’s just not the way you are supposed to govern,” de Blasio said.