New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio attempted to defend first lady Chirlane McCray against backlash on Wednesday after it was discovered she had private staff that's getting paid millions in taxpayer money.
McCray, who is reportedly looking to run for Brooklyn borough president, has a staff of 14 people, sources told The CIty.
McCray’s office provided The CIty with names of eight full-time employees whose salaries added up to about $1.1 million. However, according to current and former employees in the Mayor’s office — and public records – McCray’s staff makes closer to $2 million.
"That article [referring to The City story] didn't take into account the work that's being done," de Blasio said. "This work is about the needs of the people of this city."
He added, "The mental health crisis is much deeper because of the coronavirus, across the whole city, that's one of the things she's been working on intensely, but also as the co-chair of the internal task force this extraordinary task force on racial inclusion that has been moving big policy changes."
This news comes as the mayor is considering laying off up to 22,000 municipal workers in the fall due to budget constraints related to COVID-19.
Fellow contender for the Brooklyn borough presidency, City Councilman Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn), slammed the spending, according to The New York Post.
“With over 22,000 layoffs of city workers looming, the mayor can’t seriously expect to keep funding full-time, highly paid speechwriters and professional videographers for his wife’s political ambitions. It’s wrong, and it needs to stop,” Reynoso said.