Last night, New York City’s competing tabloids told us that Rachel Noerdlinger — former chief of staff to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife Chirlane McCray — had landed a job at Manhattan’s Mercury Public Affairs.
Said pubs had a bit of help from Noerdlinger’s own Twitter feed:
I’m elated to start the new year as Managing Director at #Mercury! I’m thrilled to join one of the best firms in the country!
— Rachel Noerdlinger (@rachelnoerd) January 5, 2015
For those who don’t live in New York, Noerdlinger was a top Page Six subject in 2014. She took a leave of absence, effectively stepping down from her City Hall position, in November after stories regarding her boyfriend’s past arrests and unpaid parking tickets, as well as comments posted to social media by both the boyfriend and her teenage son, made headlines in area publications.
In announcing her resignation, de Blasio called these articles “repulsive.”
Noerdlinger, who was formerly a top aide to Al Sharpton, started work as a managing director at Mercury yesterday. In explaining the hire, Mercury partner Michael McKeon told the Daily News that his firm doesn’t care about the tabloids: “She’s good at her job, and that’s what mattered most to us.”
Various members of the Mercury team also tweeted support for their newest colleague:
— Patrick McCarthy (@pmcc0324) January 5, 2015
You may note that Managing Director McCarthy’s Twitter bio describes him as “Republican,” and that’s no coincidence: Mercury was founded by former staffers in the administration of Governor George Pataki. Last month, Capital New York also reported that Mercury had hired Cassie Prugh, former director of regional affairs for current Governor Andrew Cuomo (paywall on that link).
In the new job, Noerdlinger will handle public affairs/comms work but will not directly lobby her former employer. The lesson here seems to be that communications expertise trumps partisanship and gossip — no matter what the New York Post says.