Taxpayers Doling Out Millions to Fund de Blasio’s ‘Special Assistants’

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio / Getty

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over the past fiscal year has increased spending on his "special assistants" by $4.6 million, expanding their ranks by 13 percent and handing out raises to those already on staff.

These employees, who are vaguely titled as aides and whose salaries are taxpayer-funded, make up 40 percent of de Blasio's staff, the New York Post reported Sunday night.

His staff's collective salaries were bumped by 25 percent, up to $23.3 million, from fiscal year 2016, according to payroll records.

Four members of his staff raked in more than $200,000 each, while those paid more than $100,000 each jumped to 84 individuals, up about 30 percent.

De Blasio had four of his special assistants transferred to the Department of Veterans Services, off-loading around $540,000 from the Mayor's Office.

"When you want to give someone a big raise, it's easier if you say they're doing a different job," a former city official told the Post.

The source said that de Blasio has greater flexibility to increase salaries, funded by taxpayer money, for aides by assigning them the title "special assistant."

One City Hall spokesman said the use of this title gives the de Blasio administration "more flexibility in demanding varied types of work from senior officials."

Chief of staff Kevin O'Brien is one of de Blasio's highest paid special assistants; his annual salary increased from $175,000 to $220,652 since fiscal year 2016.

The Post first revealed last year that de Blasio increased the number of special assistants by 140 percent compared to his predecessor, former Mayor Mike Bloomberg; de Blasio responded by ignoring a Post reporter at a news conference and calling the paper a "right-wing rag."

"It just shows a complete disregard for the taxpayers of the city and it also displays his mismanagement—because we're not even getting results," likely Republican challenger Nicole Malliotakis said of de Blasio's staff salaries.

Katelyn Caralle

Katelyn Caralle   Email Katelyn | Full Bio | RSS
Katelyn Caralle is a media analyst at the Washington Free Beacon. Before joining Free Beacon, Katelyn worked as a Digital Strategy Intern at The Heritage Foundation. She graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in 2016 where she served as Editor-in-Chief of The Voice.

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