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NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Mayor de Blasio is being critical of the media, calling its scrutiny of his wife's Chief of Staff and other public officials "repulsive" and "overblown."
In a departure from a news conference he called to announce a new endeavor to promote manufacturing in the city, the mayor was saddled with questions about Rachel Noerdlinger, the $170,000 a year aid to Chirlane McCray, who announced an indefinite leave of absence amid a controversy surrounding her boyfriend and her son.
Noerdlinger had become a distraction to the deBlasio administration in recent weeks, ever since it was revealed that her live-in boyfriend is a convicted felon who served time for manslaughter, and has a more recent arrest.
Among other things, he tried to use her name and position while trying to challenge parking tickets. Then Noerdlingers 17 year old son became a focus when he was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing last week. He had previous written anti-police messages on social media.
Throughout it all, Mayor de Blasio had the highest praise for his wife's aide and stood behind her. "I think she's a hard-working public servant who has tried to do good throughout her life," de Blasio said after she announced she is taking the leave of absence without pay.
He added, "A lot of nasty stuff was done here. It is clearly for a purpose. It's quite obvious. Why would so much attention be given to one person and her personal life." He said it was "clearly a pretty systematic effort to undermine certain work that is being done."
The Mayor suggested the media was out of bounds by focusing on Noerdlinger's son. "This child should not be our interest."
Political science professor Jeanne Zaino says the Mayor is being hypocritical by saying his aides family should be off limits when his own family was front and center during the campaign and his son's presence in ads help him win the election. He said that was a "different dynamic" because he was running for office.
"Everyone deserves privacy in their private life even if a public servant," the Mayor declared. But that apparently didn't apply to Liz Smith, his communications director during he campaign.
She got dumped after it was revealed that she was having an affair with disgraced former Governor Eliot Spitzer. She became another distraction to the incoming Mayor.