Chirlane McCray cleared to work for Mayor’s Fund

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Chirlane McCray. (Rob Bennett for the office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)
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First lady Chirlane McCray's official duties, which the de Blasio administration continues to avoid describing specifically, could include chairing the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.

According to a Jan. 29 letter from the city Conflicts of Interest Board that was obtained by Capital, McCray has been granted permission to serve as the unpaid chairwoman of the fund's board of directors. 

The fund was established in 1994 to raise private money through foundations, corporations and individual donors for city causes, and was a fund-raising conduit after Hurricane Sandy.

De Blasio has long indicated that he intended for his wife, who worked with him in City Hall under David Dinkins, to play an active role in his own administration. But he never talked about what she might do, and has consistently dodged questions from reporters about the scope and logistics of her work.

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If she takes on the role with the Mayor's Fund, McCray would serve as the nonprofit's leading fund-raiser and preside over board meetings.

"You advise the board of your belief that First Lady Chirlane McCray has a long and distinguished history of public service that would make her an exceptional chair of the fund," reads the letter COIB sent to the city's Law Department, approving her appointment, which was requested by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

In granting permission, COIB notes, "Like the position of first lady, the position of chair of the fund is in substantial sense a surrogate for the mayor, so that appointing Mrs. McCray as chair of the fund is consistent with her position as first lady."

The letter also indicates that de Blasio wants McCray to "work on issues facing families, children, and early childhood education."

McCray has appeared at many announcements of top adminsitration appointments, and attended a press conference in Brooklyn Thursday morning where the mayor discussed ending the city's appeal to the stop-and-frisk court case.

McCray and de Blasio announced the appointment last week of her chief of staff, longtime Al Sharpton aide Rachel Noerdlinger, at a salary of $170,000.